Google Cloud: Ready for CAD / PLM?

by Oleg on March 15, 2011 · 416 comments

Cloud is continuously discussed among the people in CAD/PLM industry. The opinions are varying and discussion is going up and down. Vendors are arguing about availability, security, bandwidth, portfolio and many other things. I’ve been writing about multiple ways cloud can be introduced to the community of people in manufacturing companies. Two years ago, I wrote – Where is PLM shortcut to the cloud? The idea of massive deployment of elastic services and storage on AWS and S3 got a lot of supporters since then. The whole companies like Netflix are relying on AWS to deploy their solution. The example of Netflix is specially good, since it contains a deployment of a significant amount of video content on the cloud. Another post, also two years old – Should PLM take an Excel on Cloud? was about a potential of moving content to the cloud.

Google Storage and Cloud Connect

The following article caught my attention last week – Google user-managed storage launched with sizes up to 16 terabytes of space. Here is the quote: Storage for Google Docs, Picasa Web Albums, and photos from Blogger can now scale up to 16TB.  The prices per year are extremely reasonable: 1TB is $256 a year and the numbers scale up from there.  Much smaller portions are available starting at $5 a year for 20GB. If you are going to the maximum of possible 16TB, the price will be around 4K /year, which make it very reasonable these days. Compare it with the storage in your company and make your own conclusion. Another interesting application launched by Google called Google Connect, which is literally allows you to plug-in your lovely Microsoft Office environment directly to Google cloud. Guess how simple will be to convert all your Excels to Google Spreadsheets?

CAD/PLM: SolidWorks n!Fuze Cllaboration

Some CAD/PLM companies are very supportive and started slowly to inject their “cloud-vision” to the masses. At the last SolidWorks World 2011, Dassault introduced a new application called SolidWorks n!Fuze. The vision behind n!Fuze is simple: You work with SolidWorks and at the same time you can share SolidWorks files using Enovia V6 platform on the cloud. Sounds nice. You can see my blog  SolidWorks n!Fuze: The Cloud Remake of PLM Collaboration?

The original name of SolidWorks cloud product was SolidWorks Connect. Which make it very similar to what Google Connect is doing with Microsoft Office. SolidWorks Engineers explained me during SolidWorks World 2011 that the main goal of n!Fuze is to help engineers to collaborate by sharing files. It is interesting if n!Fuze will be able to synchronize SolidWorks files content between multiple users by uploading them to Enovia V6 platform. What will be the advantage of Enovia V6 platform vs. Google is another interesting question to ask.

What is my conclusion? Cloud services are growing. Cloud platforms like Google are moving bottom up and provide infrastructure that can make some software vendors offering irrelevant. Few days ago I wrote about cloud scalability of existing platforms. To be able to combine the latest infrastructure of cloud providers with functions needed to customers seems to me the right way to go these days. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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