I’d like to continue the topic I started yesterday related to CAD File Management Trajectories. The opportunity to use the power of cloud computing infrastructure to get control of CAD data and facilitate data share and exchange is getting more prominent these days. Think about typical manufacturing company or engineering organization. To implement cloud based CAD file management , you need to get all files up to the cloud and keep syncing them as changes happens. The initial sync can be a difficult tasks, but not as impossible as you might think of.
My attention caught by Wired article. How Facebook Moved 20 Billion Instagram Photos Without You Noticing. I found it quite interesting, especially in the part speaking about details of data transformation between Amazon EC2, Amazon VPC and Facebook private cloud. Here is my favorite snippet:
The Instagram switch was the live migration of an enormous—and enormously popular—operation. “The service couldn’t take any disruption,” says Facebook engineer George Cabrera. Facebook won’t say how many virtual machines were needed to run Instagram on Amazon, but it was in “the thousands.” And the service now stores over 20 billion digitals photos. For Instagram, the move was a way of more effectively plugging into a wide range of computing tools that have long helped drive Facebook’s vast online empire. And for the engineers overseeing Facebook’s worldwide network of data centers, it’s a template for merging their operation with applications the company may acquire in the years to come. “We were patient zero,” Krieger says. But the “Instagration” also provides a lesson or two for the broader tech community as it builds more and more apps atop cloud computing services like Amazon—apps they might one day migrate to private data centers. The key to the migration was a specialized Amazon service known as the Virtual Private Cloud.
So, here is the thing. It sounds like an interesting undertaking to try moving CAD files to the cloud (private or public) without customers taking notice. As users, you can still drive the same “car” or in other words using your favorite CAD packages from your favorite CAD vendor. However, your files will be moving to the cloud transparently and getting under management and control of Cloud CAD file management tool.
What is my conclusion? It is really important to understand the power and capability of cloud infrastructure today. 20 billion files is a huge number. I’m sure some of CAD projects and company data can scale beyond that point. However, mainstream engineering organization, the amount data scale between 10s to 100s GB. My hunch, we are going to see more companies interested how to jump towards some sort of cloud solution in the near future. They key is to make it transparent and painless for end users. Just my thoughts…