the business of cad


Issue #766 |  February 26, 2013
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In This Issue


1. Meanwhile, Back in the Real World...

   - What IT Managers Know


2. Out of the Inbox, our other regular columns.


Meanwhile, Back in the Real World...
By design, marketing and reality are disconnected. To find out how far apart they are, let's take, for example, how a CAD vendor markets its cloud service. The good folks at Autodesk tell customers with great enthusiasm that their service provides "virtually infinite computing power in the cloud." The word "infinite" is not a slip o' the tongue excusable by momentary rhetoric, for Autodesk uses the word repeatedly in their printed marketing materials, as well as at trade shows. The word is deliberate. (The qualifier "virtually" has been a more recent addition.)


Using such a word at this early stage of cloud computing, however, is as credulous as users who in the 1980s enthused that "with CAD, your only limit is your imagination." The software of 30 years ago was far more limited than the imagination of its users, of course, just as today's cloud does not provide infinite computing -- virtually or not.


Let's now take a look at what computing power in the cloud looks like, in reality (c.f. usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=17980122&linkID=17690248):

The limits are troubling for a service touted as infinite.


Autodesk might protest that these limits are in place only for now, and will be higher later. But I would counterprotest that it is now that they are using the "infinite computing" mantra.

What IT Managers Know

So these are some of the limitations on the cloud services provided by a specific CAD vendor. Let's take a look at more general limitations based on the real world experiences of IT managers. Network World magazine surveyed 3,236 information technology managers in 29 countries.


(I write this on the weekend when for 12-36 hours Microsoft's cloud services stopped operating worldwide due to the expiry of a security certificate [i.e., someone forgot to renew some paperwork], the second time in about a year.)


The results of the survey are troubling. In 83% of large enterprises, IT managers have problems with employees setting up their own cloud accounts, such as on Dropbox. The managers call these "rogue accounts," because the accounts are not approved by IT. This reminds me of the earlier era when employees used USB thumbdrives to spirit corporate data away, either for working at home or when engaging in corporate espionage.


CAD vendors like to claim that data stored on the cloud is safer than on any desktop computer, but this worldwide survey of IT managers found that 43% had lost data on the cloud, "meaning they either couldn't find it or had accidentally deleted it."


But then the backups didn't work well either, with 67% reporting some kind of problem during recovery. For instance, for 22% of surveyed IT managers recovery took three days or longer.


There is a legal angle to recovery failure. Some 14% were unable to comply with e-discovery requests from the courts, because documents stored on the cloud could not be found. The survey did not ask about consequences of the failure, but Network World speculated that fines or other legal problems could ensue.


As Network World reader AD summarized, "Like everything else, [the cloud] is going to break, and people are going to find security holes and exploit them."


Source: www.networkworld.com/news/2013/011613-rogue-clouds-265854.html



Out of the Inbox

I've updated my treo of ebooks for BricsCAD V13, and here they are:

SIMPOE signs an OEM agreement with PTC to develop a new extension for Creo 3.0 that will replace PTC's Plastic Advisor extension. Existing Creo subscribers will get the new extension free, while a limited function version will be bundled with Creo Parametric 3.0. For other MCAD packages, SimpoeXpress is still available at no charge from www.simpoe.com


Apple makes it hard for third-party developers to work with iPad's Bluetooth, but now OrthoGraph Architect is the first iPad 3/4/Mini app to connect with laser distance meters -- specifically the Leica Disto E7500i and D510 models. www.orthograph.net


I don't go to COFES anymore, but this year attendees will hear Esther Dyson as the keynote speaker, which is pretty impressive. cofes.com


Simufact Engineering of Germany starts up its first office in India, Simufact India Private Limited. Dr. Gabriel Mc Bainis is appointed director of Simufact India in Bangalore. www.simufact.com


CIMdata publishes "Simulation & Analysis Market Overview" report at www.cimdata.com.


ModuleWorks moves its headquarters to a larger office in Aachen, Germany.


On our blogs

Here are items that appeared on our WorldCAD Access blog recently at worldcadaccess.typepad.com:


And on our Gizmos Grabowski blog at worldcadaccess.typepad.com/gizmos:


Letters to the Editor

Re: SolidWorks to Lose Parasolid
"The Dassault announcement is nothing but good news for Siemens. What they stand to gain in market share with the planned destruction of Solid Works (and the coming mass migration from SW to Solid Edge) will far eclipse the income lost from Parasolids. Add into the mix the lousy Catia V6 adoption rate, and I bet Siemens will grin all the way to the bank where their UGS software portfolio is concerned.


"You have no idea how powerful this year's launch of Synchronous Technology 6 will be. In conjunction with all the problems SolidWorks has, I fail to see the demise of Parasolids for SolidWorks doing anything but making Siemens people very happy. Bring on [Dassault] CGM [kernel], and let the debacle begin."
- Dave Ault


The editor replies: "We don't know how well Solid Edge is selling, while sales of SolidWorks seems to be blowing the doors off Inventor, Creo, and so on. The benefit to Siemens PLM depends on the royalty structure: the ratio might be 100:1 or 1000:1 in terms of Solidworks royalty revenue vs Solid Edge revenue for Siemens."

Notable Quotable

"That moment when the competition executes your 2008 roadmap."
      - Aaron Levie, ceo, Box on competitor DropBox security update



upFront.eZine is published every Tuesday, except during summer and Christmas vacation. Editor: Ralph Grabowski. This newsletter is read by nearly 11,000 subscribers in 70 countries. Your comments are welcome at editor@upfrontezine.com! Deadline for submissions is every Monday noon.


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Entire contents copyright 2013 by upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. All rights reserved worldwide. Letters sent to the editor are subject to publication. Article reprint fee: $840. All trademarks belong to their respective holders. "upFront.eZine," "The Business of CAD," and "WorldCAD Access" are trademarks of upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. Letters to the editor may be edited for clarity and brevity. Translations and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.


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