Attention Mechanical Designers: 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using CAD in the Cloud

cad design finger pointing

Cloud / July 5, 2018



You use the cloud every day.  It has become commonplace. Email, phone apps…maybe even “industrial strength” business or technical software delivered over the cloud.

However, if you are like most engineering software users, you have your workstation under your desk or nearby on-premise.

Cloud for Engineering Apps

“Times, they are a changin’.” Bob Dylan, of course, wasn’t referring to cloud computing, but his words are true. Resulting from a confluence of technical factors, running even the most demanding apps over the cloud is now possible.  Performance is no longer the issue and apps can oftentimes be faster with a cloud computing based solution. This technology is referred to as VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is virtualization technology that hosts a desktop operating system on a centralized server in a data center with access from a thin client).

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Key Technologies to Enable the VDI as a Preference for Engineering Applications

The three technical pillars that enable VDIs for engineering software are:

  • Internet connectivity and speed. This is obvious, you must be connected, and the pipe has to be big enough and fast enough to move the data, which most homes and businesses now have.
  • GPUs that can be shared. These cards are fantastic for speeding performance, but they are expensive. It turns out they lend themselves very well for sharing in a VDI environment.
  • Private cloud availability. Your designs are your company’s lifeblood. Your data must be protected. With a private cloud, your data can actually be more secure than on-premise solutions.


VMWare’s Perspective: VDI Benefits for CAD Environments

“Computer-aided drawing used to be way too taxing for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software. Those days are gone.”, said Tom Fenton of VMWare.  Tom recently published this article, “VDI Benefits for CAD Environments” where he cites five reasons why this is true; he calls these “takes”:

  1. Take 1: Save money by sharing graphic cards.
  2. Take 2: Save more money by sharing servers and software.
  3. Take 3: CAD models can be huge. If workers are working remotely and without VDI, the engineer will need to download CAD files to his local system.
  4. Take 4: If an engineer is working on a CAD model on a local system and a catastrophic event happens, those models will probably be lost.
  5. Take 5: By using VDI CAD models, engineering drawings and other documents are stored in the datacenter, making them much more secure than having them stored outside the datacenter.

Fenton goes on to say, “The benefits of VDI are many, so if your company uses CAD applications you should take a look and see if VDI could be a valid solution.”

Click here to read Tom Fenton’s/VMWorld complete article.

For more information about the Converge VDI solutions for engineering applications, click here. Or contact us below about SOLIDWORKS Cloud!


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