Michael Berman has published "Research Computing in the Cloud: Leveling the Playing Field" in EDUCAUSE Review.
Here's an excerpt:
The universal availability of commodity cloud services and high-speed networks can eliminate the requirement that departments must have local HPC resources. The infrastructure available from large cloud providers such as AWS dwarfs and outperforms all but the largest and most-specialized supercomputing facilities. . . .
Moving large data sets on commodity networks, or even on regional research and education networks, simply doesn't work well for hundreds of terabytes or petabytes of data, which is the scale required by modern researchers in many fields. . . .
To begin to address these issues, the Pacific Research Platform (PRP), a collaboration among research universities and CENIC (operator of the CalREN network serving California), has been funded by the National Science Foundation to support the streaming of "elephant flows."