Many of the cloud platforms are scrambling to attract Hadoop jobs because they can be a natural fit for the flexible business model that rents machines by the minute. Companies can spin up thousands of machines to crunch on a big data set in a short amount of time instead of buying permanent racks of machines that can take days or even weeks to do the same calculation. Some companies, such as Amazon, are adding an additional layer of abstraction by accepting just the JAR file filled with software routines. Everything else is set up and scheduled by the cloud.
The image at left shows some blade computers from Martin Abegglen's Flickr feed.