PLM Cloud or Virtualization Alternative?

PLM Cloud or Virtualization Alternative?

The two terms “cloud computing” and “virtualization” have many things in common. From a specific technological standpoint, we can even call both of these terms identical. The ability to virtualize computing power and provide them with easy and painless way was one of the roots behind what is known today as Amazon Elastic Cloud (EC2). However, it is not the same when it comes to technological marketing.

For many years, cloud was a tabu word for many PLM companies. BOM.COM and later one Arena was a pioneering ideas of SaaS and On-Demand software delivery. Agile Advantage module is going trough many transformations after the acquisition by Oracle. Autodesk – the first large CAD vendor announced Autodesk PLM360 last year. Bernad Charles of Dassault System announced $2B investment in creating of one of the most advanced cloud platforms – Enovia V6. Siemens PLM announced that TeamCenter will support cloud via IaaS deployment using Amazon and other IaaS providers. Aras made very similar steps by announcing Aras cloud strategy.

PTC was long time standing aside of mainstream cloud roads. Probably PTC learned their lessons by hosting PDMLink via IBM. However, two weeks ago, during PTCLive 2013 event, PTC announced their Creo products to support “virtualization”. Read the following article by Graphic Speak – PTC joins the ranks of companies enabling virtualization. Here is the news in a nutshell:

At PTC’s worldwide conference this year, PTC Live 2013, the company announced an agreement between IBM, Nvidia, and Citrix to enable PTC customers to take advantage of virtualization. The capability is available for Creo Parametric, Creo Direct, Creo Layout, Creo Options Modeler, Creo Simulate. These products represent the start of PTC’s effort to enable virtualization and remote computing throughout their product line. Mike Campbell, EVP CAD segment at PTC told press and analysts these products were announced, because “they’re what we had ready.” Though obviously, these are also the core PTC products that people would want to use in a virtualization mode.

You may ask me – what about Windchill? The same article provide a glimpse of what PTC is planning with regards to Windchill and cloud / virtualization. Here is the passage I specially liked:

PTC says that one of the benefits of virtualization is more efficient integration between the company’s Windchill line of PLM products and its Creo design tools. Also, virtualization gives IT the ability to keep data and programs on the server, meaning company IP is safer than it is in a world full of Dropboxes and thumb drives. Virualization also gives IT better control over software installations. Depending on the configuration, whole groups of people can be served by updating a single server .

What is my conclusion? It is hard to ignore “cloud” word these days. Formally, PTC didn’t announce the cloud availability of their products. At the same time, who will prevent Creo and Windchill to run via Amazon Web Services? Will it become a single cloud PLM platform from Windchill? Good question to ask. It is interesting to see PTC approach to cloud and virtualization. I’m sure next option will come soon and Creo will become available from AWS servers. Pure speculation and only my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Disclosure: I’m responsible for PLM and Data Management product development at Autodesk.



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