Everyone is Taking about the Cloud, but What is it, and Where?

By Roger Liucci | Data Management

The cloud is many things to many people. Personally, it’s a place for me and my family to keep photos, emails, contacts (phone numbers and addresses) and documents (homework). Professionally it can be so much more. For our clients; architects, engineer’s construction managers, etc, the cloud offers many tools and resources.

The Autodesk Cloud, now called “Autodesk 360”, provides great value by enabling you to extend your desktop with secure and ubiquitous cloud computing capacity and capabilities, helping you rapidly design, visualize, simulate, optimize, and share your ideas. 

This idea of extending your desktop is not an easy concept for everyone to grasp, however having someone else do your work sounds pretty simple to me. If you could delegate a task that normally would take time away from other tasks wouldn’t that be great? Not only does Autodesk 360 have tools that enable advanced processes to be done somewhere else it is a place to store share and collaborate with others.

Do you have an Autodesk subscription? If yes, then you have the cloud already.

CLOUD CAPACITY: All Subscribers have access to: Storage, Sharing, and Viewing, DWG Editing and Mobile Viewing. Your available tools include; Autodesk® Cloud Documents, AutoCAD® WS, and the Autodesk® Design Review Mobile App.

CLOUD CAPABILITIES: If you subscribe to select products or suites, you have an even greater advantage. You can harness the power of Autodesk 360 to perform more compute-intensive tasks, such as rendering, energy analysis, optimization, and collaboration. These offers are; Autodesk 360 Cloud rendering, Autodesk Inventor optimization, Autodesk Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis, Autodesk Green Building Studio, and Autodesk Buzzsaw

Let’s explore and elaborate on this from a few different perspectives.

“I’m not sure if the cloud is for me” or “I have a dedicated machine for rendering or specialists in-house, so I don’t need these cloud services.” Your in-house specialists may find these services useful at times to augment their current process. There may be times when a fast iteration or the ability to run multiple simulations and analysis is useful. Your in-house specialists may choose to use a combination of their current tools and Autodesk Cloud services.

“I don’t know if the service will provide accurate results.” The Inventor optimization service is validated against benchmarks published by respected industry organizations such as NAFEMS (National Agency for Finite Element Methods and Standards).

“I’m not sure that my data will be safe from unauthorized access and available when I want it.” Users of Autodesk Cloud documents have the security controls to define who is authorized to access, view and update the files they have uploaded. These controls allow users to store design documents in the cloud so they can access them anytime, anywhere (when connected to the internet) and securely share them with designated colleagues, clients, and other users. The subscription contract administrator can define who in their organization have access to the cloud services. Autodesk 360 uploads and downloads are securely encrypted using SSL certificates. To ensure the security and availability of Autodesk 360 services, Autodesk strategically chooses stable and reliable hosting providers and locations with the following key concerns in mind; Availability, Replication, Connectivity, Environment Security, Power/HVAC, Hardware redundancy. Please contact us for more detail if necessary.

If any of this sounds interesting or confusing please give us a call or email and we will be happy to explain further or answer any question you may have. Welcome to the cloud.


INDUSTRIES: Architecture, Buildings, Civil Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, Construction, MEP Engineering, Structural Engineering

Published on March 23, 2012 in Data Management.

About the Author

Roger, our senior BIM specialist, specializes in all things architecture & construction and has been with Microsol Resources since 2001. He provides technical support for our architectural, interiors, construction and engineering clients.