CAD Manager's Newsletter (#425)

9 Apr, 2019 By: Robert Green

The Continuing Cloud CAD Controversy, Part 2

This week we continue to explore cloud-based CAD tools and why you might want to tread carefully with adopting fully cloud-based products, especially when considering Internet speed and connectivity.

In the last edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter I made the case that cloud-based applications and data hosting solutions have their weaknesses. But aside from potential problems such as security vulnerabilities and provider outages, what else might we want to consider? Are there situations where cloud-based solutions make sense?

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter we'll answer these questions. Here goes.

Image source sukmaraga/
Image source sukmaraga/

The Cloud—like WANs—Can be Slow

Let's imagine that all the risks we discussed last time were resolved. What would happen next? We'd still be left with a solution that tends to be slow. Why slow? Because anything you do on a cloud-based application is only as fast as your Internet speed and that speed is never as fast as CAD users want it to be.

What kind of speed problems might we encounter? We could categorize them as follows:

Shared connections. With only so much bandwidth available to share among many employees, corporate Internet connections can often be very slow by the time the user fires up a web browser.

Increased demands make things even slower. If even more traffic is placed on a shared Internet connection due to more cloud application users, then the already slow Internet connections become that much slower.

Uploads/Download speeds. As large files are moved to/from cloud applications, demand on the Internet connection increases significantly, thus slowing things even more for not just you, but everyone in the office. Think of the last time DropBox synced during busy office hours and you'll get picture.

Geography drives cloud speed. Only those companies located in areas with gigabit fiber-based Internet will enjoy fast enough transfer rates to make cloud applications perform well. Users/businesses in smaller, more remote areas will be forced to limp along on low bandwidth connections for years to come.

Of course, not all these issues exist in all offices, but chances are you will experience a few of these issues in your company at some point. Paradoxically, individual users at suburban home offices with high-speed connections may be best suited to run cloud applications.

The simple fact is moving CAD files across the internet is slow and the cloud is the Internet. If you think your Internet/WAN connections are slow now, what will happen when you add a substantial amount of cloud traffic to mix? The answer is that things get even slower. Read more »

What's New from Our Sponsors

Webinar: Pitfalls and Possibilities for Autodesk Vault

3 Secrets to Delivering Successful Design Projects (Without the Stress)
From Bentley: Your end goals are the same as they have been — achieving them has just been made simpler. Learn how 3 top firms leveraged new solutions to better manage project information, accelerate project collaboration, and automate and digitize design delivery. Read more

What's New at

AutoCAD Video Tips: Use DWG Compare to Find the Differences in Drawings
We've all had to try and find the differences between two similar drawings. AutoCAD 2019 introduces the new DWG Compare feature which is simple, clear, and very powerful. Join AutoCAD Tipster Lynn Allen as she shows you the ins and outs of this great tool that will save you editing time and (hopefully) help you avoid duplicate work. Watch the video »

Don't Reinvent the Wheel!
Improve engineering workflow and save time using CAD search technologies. Read more »

Herrera on Hardware: The Modern Workstation — A Litmus Test for Today
What makes up a workstation today? Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

Add comment