[Update] Thanks for your continued feedback on this capability! Rest assured that we are tracking this request closely along with several other platform capabilities our customers have requested. In the meanwhile, you can leverage cluster scaling capability to adjust HDInsight cluster size according to your varying compute needs. Azure Data Factory is another option you can explore for scheduling jobs with automatic creation and deletion of clusters: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/data-factory-data-transformation-activities/
Microsoft Azure HDInsightRichard Weeks commented
Wow, my class was given an educational subscription so we could learn Azure. Here's what I've learned: Azure (or at least HDInsight) is not the platform I want to use for Hadoop. I only have 2-3 hour blocks in my part-time student, full-time job schedule to work on my homework. Now I have to take 30-45 minutes of each block to create a Hadoop cluster -- not to mention importing the data? This is going to burn through the credit they gave us in the subscription faster than I could have imagined.
Microsoft, how can you leave out such a critical feature from your Hadoop platform?