We need a cloud hosting platform that provides high CPU throughput for a very specific high-CPU utilization application we have. Can anyone recommend a cloud hosting platform whose virtual instances that actually performs well for such an application?
No, none will. Buy a server, put it into a rack ;)
If you need a complete CPU / Multiple CPU's dedicated for yourself cloud computing simply is not for you.
If you are particularity interested in doing this in the cloud rather than buying hardware, actually Amazon have just created high CPU based instances for exactly this purpose.
I reposted the content of the amazon announcement here which outlined the benefits of their new HPC (high power compute) instances which are specifically designed for high CPU utilisation.
The spec of these is as follows:
23 GB of memory 33.5 EC2 Compute Units (2 x Intel Xeon X5570, quad-core “Nehalem” architecture) 1690 GB of instance storage 64-bit platform I/O Performance: Very High (10 Gigabit Ethernet) API name: cc1.4xlarge
These are only available in US east region and cost $1.60 per hour on demand.
Alternatively if you don't need something that powerful the most commonly used option is what amazon refer to as "High-CPU Extra large" or c1.xlarge for short. This comes with 20 ECU's (8 cores) and 7gb of RAM.
An on-demand instance cost $0.76 for linux per hour or $1.16 in the EU per hour.
Something to keep in mind is if your application can be distributed across multiple servers you may be able to get better value for money by running more smaller instances rather than fewer large instances. You will need to test how your application responds to the various different hardware options available.
Hope this helps.
Edit later: Also posted this question and answer on the Cloud college blog. good question.