Via RBloggers, a post showing how to launch Azure VMs from R as well as retrieving/restarting a previously launched VM.
By the by, you can also launch Azure VMs from Python code.
Packages like this makes it relatively straightforward to write your own provisioners, at least in the sense of starting and stopping VMs.
There are also code wrappers for a wide range of other cloud services and virtualisation engines. For example,
docker-py provides similar tooling for starting and stopping Docker containers; for my preferred cloud host, Digital Ocean, it looks like there’s
python-digitalocean. I’ve also used Linode in the path, who provide their own official package:
I know all this, of course, though I don’t use this approach much. But it’s a useful set of things to remember you have available in the string’n’glue drawer.