Hewlett-Packard Co. is leveraging its blade infrastructure to help improve engineer productivity, with a new offering aimed at companies needing to consolidate databases, set up remote offices and securely collaborate with MCAD applications.
The HP Blade Workstation Solution for MCAD, which HP says delivers the feature set of a high-end desktop workstation in a blade form factor, centralizes computing power for executing MCAD applications within the data center, while allowing remote access from nearly any location. The HP Blade Workstation Solution has been tested and certified on a variety of leading MCAD applications and can be configured with one or two high-speed Intel Xeon dual-core or quad-core processors, as well as a dedicated NVIDIA FX 1600M GPU for optimum performance.
“Instead of having MCAD run on a workstation at an engineer's desk, we've moved it into the data center next to the PLM or PDM server,” says Vern Rhead, Blade Workstation product manager at HP.
The building block for providing this remote access is HP Remote Graphics Software (RGS), an advanced network utility that takes full advantage of the compute and graphics resources of the HP Blade Workstation. RGS sends high-speed, encrypted pixels through standard LAN, WAN or VPN connections to nearly any type of device, including HP thin clients or Windows-based PCs, notebooks or workstations.
There are multiple benefits for running MCAD on a blade/remote client infrastructure, Rhead says. By placing workstations in the data center with high-bandwidth connections, there is no time-consuming downloading and uploading of CAD files and geographically dispersed design teams can more effectively view and interact with large digital prototypes in real time. Data security and IT maintenance are also greatly improved as MCAD applications and associated design data are managed, monitored, backed up and protected from within the secure data center.