Autodesk's Cloud Computing Strategy: The Update

Nicholas Mukhar

April 27, 2011

2 Min Read
Autodesk's Cloud Computing Strategy: The Update

After hunting around the 2011 Autodesk Channel Summit for some cloud computing answers, I gathered cloud perspectives from a pair of Autodesk VARs representing different parts of the world. Then I touched base with Scott Sheppard, program manager for Autodesk Labs, to learn how the company’s programmers and developers are preparing cloud solutions for partners and customers.

“We’re never going to go cloud exclusively. Instead we want to augment the desktop with the cloud,” said Sheppard, who has been part of the Autodesk team for the past 19 years. The augmentation will be centered around two aspects:

  1. Collaboration — allowing designers to share ideas over the cloud.

  2. Infinite Computing — using many computers for a short period of time rather than a single computer for a longer period of time.

Sheppard said he understands the viewpoints from a pair of Autodesk partners:

  • Mark Wagasky, vice president of sales at Applied Software, said his clients are ready for Autodesk cloud computing solutions.

  • Grapho Software CEO Luiz Sasada  said his clients are still years away from using Autodesk cloud solutions.

“Our clients are somewhat schizophrenic,” said Sheppard. “Some would love to see an entire Autodesk cloud-based solution. Others aren’t ready.”

Autodesk desktop solutions are not going away. But there are currently two Autodesk cloud computing solutions on the market: AutoCAD WS and Autodesk Homestyler (previously called Project Butterfly). Both solutions are still available through the desktop, and there are several Autodesk cloud solutions still in development in the Autodesk labs.

Also worth noting: Project Twitch — which will allow clients to put design application on a cloud server and eliminate the need for installations or service packs completely. At the end of the day, Sheppard says the Autodesk cloud solutions will be for bigger customers running many computers. As Sheppard put it, “Rather than run one computer for 200 minutes, why not run 200 computers for one minute?”

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