Desktop in the Cloud

August 2, 2016
By

(This article was first published on TeachR, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I just wanted to share the good experience I have had with creating a virtual personal desktop on Paperspace. A few months ago I started researching whether there was anyone out there providing this service. Paperspace came up in the search but their service was not yet available. But, to my surprise, they were available the other night when I needed some extra computing power ASAP. Their souped-up desktop runs with 32 GB of RAM and 8 CPUs. You can pay monthly or by the hour and the rates are pretty reasonable. What is amazing is the speed. I was really impressed today with the download speeds, of all things. I had an entire R development stack set up and ready to go in 30 mins or less (R, RStudio, tools, github, git, Sublime, and on and on). AND, I’ve created a snapshot of the setup so I can spin up a new instance in the future, if I screw something up.

They are still a new company, small enough to still be personal, evidenced by the one-on-one conversation I’ve been having this evening with one of their outreach guys, Paul Kleen (paul AT paperspace DOT com). He’s offered free storage to anyone who emails him in response to this post, all you have to pay is the hourly usage fees. He offered me credits if anyone signs up but I am declining those because I don’t want you to think this is just a sales pitch. I really am impressed with this service and it totally hit the spot in a time of need. Try it out and you will love it.

Oh, and while I was setting this up, I tried to do the same on Azure and burned through $200 of credits before I even got to use the machine. Amazon suspended my account. The other smaller players I didn’t even try — too sketchy looking. Paperspace on the other hand is offering a good service that I can really stand behind.

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