Lenovo workstation vs Microsoft Azure for a professional workload?

My wife has a new job and we're having trouble convincing the company to give her enough compute power. She used an older Dell workstation (2 physical CPUs totaling 12C/24T, 128GB RAM) with the same software at the previous job. The new company uses Lenovo, so my reaction was "great, Lenovo has new AMD Threadripper Pro workstations". Here's how that went...

1) I helpfully price out a couple different tiers of workstation, a 16-core for ~$3,500, a 32-core for ~$5,500. She shows that to the company IT guys.

2) They counter with "well, we're switching everything to cloud computing via Microsoft Azure, so let's do that instead". I think OK, fine, should be easy enough to match that compute power via a server.

3) They start her on it, but only give her 4 cores (8 threads).... it works terribly, takes like 24 hours for a simple analysis. No surprise there because she's very familiar with this software and everyone who uses it uses high-core-count workstations. The storage on it is also very slow... the first stage of the software is to read in ~30GB, and this proceeds at like *100MB/s*. Just unacceptably slow.

4) She tells them she needs access to more cores.... they basically balk and say no? Then they talk about maybe giving her 16-cores via Azure. But this would cost $550 a month, meaning in less than 7 months they could have paid for the lower-tier workstation that would be MORE powerful (because the frequency is higher than the Epyc-based server on the cloud).

So my question is... what is the point where just buying a local PC is more worth it? This is something that she'll have running essentially all the time, or at least ~60 hours a week.

submitted by /u/falconpunch3D
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