Feeds

Autodesk shifts design apps to the cloud

Looks for customers it doesn't know it has

High performance access to file storage

Autodesk is planning to take the bulk of its software onto cloud services in the next three years, beginning with AutoCAD WS.

“The collaborative aspects of cloud working are going to revolutionize the design field,” Andrew Anagnost, vice president of suites, web services and subscription at Autodesk, told The Register.

He explained that a properly configured platform could host design data and ensure that individual users would get the most relevant information, such as building specifications for structural engineers or visualizations for architects. What's more, since no local software will be needed, additional viewers can be added on the fly.

The company has hosted cloud services itself for the last decade, since the launch of Buzzsaw, but it will now be buying compute time from Amazon EC2 to run a design and visualization suite aimed at small and medium sized companies who are looking to run collaborative design sessions. The company is also including testing and optimization code, so that a designer could test various build scenarios to find the optimal one.

The pricing model will be subscription based, with a basic offering for small jobs and then data maintenance pricing if a company needs more computing cycles or fine-grained management of who accesses its data. Within three years, the company expects to have all of its software available online in this way, but it will initially focus on software like AutoCAD WS.

On the security side, Autodesk will be offering a one-size-fits-all package, and it is planning on adding encryption to the service. But Anagnost says that fears over data security will be the biggest brake on people getting involved.

“This is one of the biggest concerns, and the biggest governor on adoption,” he said. “If someone’s highly concerned then may not be able to get them off that – in the same way that some people refuse to use online banking.”

The other problem for some companies will be fear of downtime on the service, but according to Anagnost, this was really a matter of configuration and having failover plans ready. During the recent EC2 outage, he said, Autodesk wasn’t affected because it had plans in place to shift servers to alternative areas of supply.

Shifting the focus to cloud access on mobile devices may get Autodesk customers it didn’t know it had, he said, pointing to the example of its Sketchbook application. This was originally envisaged as a tool for industrial designers and sold in the thousands. However, when the company ported it to mobile devices like the iPhone, it took off among the general public, and there has now been over seven million downloads of the package to date. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan
All routes should transit America, apparently
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.