Can your design work be done in the cloud? Of course it can! Having all your data in one place, instead of spread around on individual hard drives, provides much greater security and content protection. It also gives you the ability to make better design decisions by offering consistent access to all the data available.
The cloud enables secure access to designs for any user, anywhere, at any time, on any device -- a huge boost to productivity and collaboration.
At Autodesk University 2012, Dell led the discussion regarding the five cloud delivery models, and respective benefits of each. If you missed the event, here is a synopsis of the options for utilizing the cloud. Decide which model will help your design workflow take advantage of the cloud.
Presentation, also known as server-based computing, is a traditional model where a single server-based application supports many users. It’s low cost, efficient, and great for task worker computing.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is recommended for those who require access to a variety of applications. The software is also centralized, but the key difference here is that VDI supports a full-blown virtual operating system (usually Windows) with a wide variety of applications. VDI can be ideal for a broad range of users, including knowledge workers, designers, and engineers.
In the Cloud Workstation model, the processing takes place on the workstation rather than the server. However, the operating system (OS), applications, and data are all centralized. It’s like a workstation with the hard drive back in the datacenter. The server stores a single copy of the OS and application, along with all the user data. The user will see an exact copy of a traditional workstation experience with all writes and saves directed to the secure server.
The Shared model uses a server-class PC as the shared system and is suited for very small businesses or classroom settings. It’s relatively low cost, easy to install, and ideal for training environments.
The web model is the one which many organizations are moving their applications to over time. But most apps aren’t currently written in modern web languages. It shifts the applications to servers in the cloud and uses a variety of clients to access the target apps and content.
These models, especially VDI and Cloud Workstation, are the future for design work. However, for heavy CAD/CAM work, desktop or rack-mounted workstations provide enhanced performance. Dell’s rack-based PCoIP workstation solution, the Dell Precision R5500, with powerful Intel® Xeon® processors, is a virtualized 2U rack workstation that supports up to two concurrent professional graphics users, running high-end 3D professional applications on one workstation, from virtually anywhere.
Where are you in the journey to the cloud?
Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the US and/or other countries.
I'm becoming more and more a fan of the "cloud" every day. I use it routinely (Dropbox) to work on projects at home and work. I save my work, go home, and there it is. I save a file and a colleague can open it almost instantly on his machine. However, just yesterday I was working with another colleague (that lives on the East Coast in a small town) and said "How's your internet connection?" to which he replied "Terrible, it's a pain just checking my email, at work and home". In this case the entire "cloud" becomes moot. So what if it's convenient if you can't transfer the data? How does a fast local machine help in this instance? This will be the biggest problem with all cloud services; if you can't transfer data the entire thing falls apart. The biggest proponents of the technology have very fast connections or even T1 and greater services available. This is not isolated either; there are many reports of how the ISP services still haven't rolled out high speed equipment to more rural areas (despite denying that they do this) and charge the same fees for "high speed". I know of one person that had their ISP confirm the system was bad; their response was to finally simply stop going out to his location. Until everyone has high speed connections, all the fancy, fast machines will mean absolutely nothing "in the cloud".
I may be alone here, but I'm guessing that I'm not. I have a fear that my design could be compromised and/or stolen if I leave it in the cloud. What measures are you taking to ensure the safety of my design? I know it's an old argument, but it's still valid.
The next time you're churning through simulation models, manipulating 3D designs in real-time, or rendering a beautiful photo-realistic image, take a moment to think about all the work that goes on behind the scenes and be glad you don't have to worry about it.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.