Did you know that the minimum requirement for Windows Azure Burst configuration is one on-premise (local) machine with Windows HPC Server installed. This extremely low barrier to entry allows anyone to create a mini-super computer on Azure with powerful HPC scheduling mechanism.
So if you have CPU intensive jobs that require 100s of Cores the options are now unlimited as you could have 99 on Azure and one HPC on-premise cluster or vice versa.
As the Diagram above illustrates HPC can be provided from on-premise resources, dedicated HPC Clusters and Window 7 workstations running Microsoft Cluster Of Workstation services.
One of my colleagues Wen-ming has just uploaded five easy-to-learn samples with lab instructions to the Faculty Connection resources. Wen-ming has has also produced the following white paper aimed at academic and researchers Windows HPC with Burst to Windows Azure: Application Models and Data Considerations.
More real-world demos will be available soon, molecular dynamics, DNA sequencing, Weather Simulation, Parallel Visualization, Seismic Simulation in Silverlight + World Wide Telescope version. These new demos will also demonstrate the integration of our developer technologies including Phone 7, Silverlight, Windows Azure Marketplace, .NET parallel extension, with HPC Azure.
Wen-ming blog: Details of the samples