Beth, this is an interesting development. Do you know if Autodesk is using a public cloud, or do they have their own private cloud resources? I was at CloudConnect last week and there were some interesting offerings and developments. For a particular class of applications public cloud can be very effective, but things are different. Autodesk's pricing on this is also very interesting.
Naperlou: I checked back with Autodesk and they are using Amazon's infrastructure to host their cloud-based offerings. Not sure where you land on that in terms of security/redunancy/data center capabilities, but from what I can gather from covering the cloud world, the infrastructure-as-a-service capabilities are pretty robust--likely more so than any single vendor (definitely those smaller than Autodesk) could provide.
Your point about pricing is spot on. Autodesk seems to be the first in the CAD space to take a crack at cloud-based pricing. Given that many in the Design News community weigh in with complaints/issues related to CAD's traditionally high cost (price of software plus expensive on-going maintenance fees), I'm curious what people think about this emerging model.
The pricing for minimal use lets people try it without a huge investment. I wish other design automation vendors would adopt this model, instead of thousands of $ per seat, with most capabilitys unused most of the time. I hope it is succesful.
I think a lot of people feel the same way, Jim. It absolutely does let people give the technology a try without a huge investment, which I think can only seed the market and promote adoption. I think some of the EDA vendors have experimented with similar cloud-based, usage-priced models and I'm sure we'll be seeing many more going forward.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
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In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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