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Do you know sometimes you have feeling you have an important question on the tip of your tongue but can't find suitable words?

Maybe this post can help to exchange some thoughts on the topic to get closer to what I am trying to ask.

So, since many years I observe the Top 500 list; now there are commercial clouds appear which seem to be a competition to supercomputers - or not?

So a possible question is "What could be indicators that Top 500 will be dominated by commercially available cloud solutions and if yes what could be consequences for the academic research"?

Example: recently, Google has released a brain tissue data set on petascale. They used their own cloud system. Does this mean they have systems competing already with large Top 500 supercomputers? If not, does this mean, academic research could have done this research, as well, or even on a larger scale - but did not for some reason?

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It is not easy to make this question both on-topic and not opinion-based. Note, while this question is generally a good one, Stack Exchange in general, and Computational Science SE is not a discussion forum, so some very good questions might not fit the format.

Future prognosis is most likely to be opinion-based; thus, off-topic.

As of November 2020, say Amazon has its Amazon EC2 C5 Instance cluster us-east-1a on the 260th place in TOP500, therefore the hardware clusters that power public cloud platforms are already in TOP500, as have been there for quite a while.

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Adding onto Anton's excellent answer, I'll suggest the HPQC chat room here in the StackExchange network. What you have seems to be an interesting question, whether or not you're able to phrase it in a way that would work well with the conventional "main site" question format.

Not all questions have to be asked on the main site, and it's perfectly okay to sometimes ask questions in chat.stackexchange.com rather than the main stackexchange.com sites. I do this too when I feel the main sites wouldn't be the best format for my question.

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