Cloud services have emerged as a new driving force for businesses all over the world. As businesses collaborate more with one another, most of them are now turning to cloud services to complete their digital transformation. Engineering teams that require almost unlimited power to run simultaneous simulations are tapping into cloud technology to deliver faster run times, solve complex problems easily, and launch new products in less time.
This article dives into the benefits of cloud-based engineering simulation and why businesses are adopting cloud simulation systems.
Why Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing involves the delivery of on-demand computing services over the internet. It allows businesses to rent access to servers, storage, databases, analytics, networking, software, and intelligence from a cloud service provider. Rather than investing in their own computing infrastructure and data centres, companies can simply pay for the cloud services they use, as and when they use.
Benefits of Cloud-Based Engineering Simulation
Engineering Simulation or Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) is applied in nearly all industries that use design software. The intention behind simulation is not to replace physical prototypes on the whole, but to act as a complement, allowing an iterative design process, that saves both time and costs. However, traditional on-premises CAE software has demerits like high upfront investment, required software, and specialised training.
Cloud-Based Engineering Simulation eliminates the disadvantages associated with on-premises CAE, and is thus adopted by a multitude of users across industries. The benefits it brings to the development process in general include.
- Reduced Costs
Cloud-based engineering simulations costs are usually delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS) models, meaning providers charge a subscription fee. This is a more cost-effective option than buying a perpetual licence. And the best part is, as users, you need to pay only when you need the technology. Cloud services can be accessed from any Wi-Fi-enabled device like smart phone, laptop. With on-premises software, special hardware is required to run computationally intensive numerical simulations.
It is expensive to run a data centre. There are numerous costs involved, like purchasing and maintaining equipment, and hiring trained technicians to install and manage the centre. Companies that upgrade to cloud infrastructure, need only to pay for the services they use. That significantly cuts down many cost investments towards hardware, facilities, and utilities needed to grow the business. You can even chuck large IT teams as you don’t need them anymore to manage your operations. You can really benefit from the cloud provider’s expertise. Cloud system also reduces downtime costs as there’s hardly any downtime in cloud.
- Easy to Learn
You don’t need a background in engineering simulations or high-performance computing systems to be able to work with cloud-based CAE solutions. The technology is user-friendly and generally requires a short training period to learn.
- No Need for Software Installation, Maintenance, or Upgrade
Being a web-based application, cloud-based engineering does not require software installation, maintenance, and upgrades. Software vendors regularly manage software and security updates on behalf of the users. All product updates are seamlessly integrated into the solution periodically, so users can access the latest version. So, as a business owner, you don’t need to worry about software maintenance, and can instead focus on more important issues.
With cloud computing, businesses can scale up resources – by parallelizing arbitrary number of simulation runs – or scale down resources when the workload is less. Thus cloud technology is ideal for businesses having varying bandwidth requirements.
In on-premise engineering simulation, businesses buy extra servers, storage and licences to prepare for unexpected growth. Sometimes it might take years before those resources can be actually used. Cloud computing on the other hand provides additional features when you need them and there’s no need to invest in physical infrastructure.
- Improved Collaboration
In engineering, cloud-based solutions allow team collaboration, with access rights and easy sharing options for members. All stakeholders of a project can easily access the project, the simulation runs and results with the mere click of a button. Workers can easily share real-time data and collaborate without stepping on each other’s’ toes. The cloud allows easy and transparent collaboration among teams, which improve efficiency and increase productivity.
You can collaborate with colleagues or clients to run a model remotely using the cloud. All users can access customisable interactive dashboards, web-based animation and a shared result-database.
- Turn Simulation Model into an Operational Tool
Store your simulation model in the Cloud and connect them with operational data. Enable end-users to access them and gain valuable simulation insights.
- Share models with Customers Instantly
Deliver simulation models to your clients in a cloud environment, without the need for software roll out.
- Better Scenario Management
Store, organise and edit experiments and scenario data in the cloud. The scenario comparison option in Cloud will enable you to visualise results from various experiments so you can better highlight the important metrics.
- Create online simulation based solutions
The cloud is a ready-to-use environment that helps create products based on simulation. Build your own solution with customised look and feel, visualisation elements, model animation that has been embedded, and connection through cloud API to cloud-based models.
- Accelerate Machine Learning
Use cloud-based simulation tools to create dynamic environments to train and test AI solutions.
- Data Centre Designing
The benefits of cloud-based engineering simulation are most important for data centre designers. Data centres are one of the verticals that need engineering simulation the most owing to the high energy efficiency and cooling requirements of the industry. A regular data centre can consume energy equivalent to that of 25,000 households.
The use of optimised infrastructure can effectively reduce the energy consumption for storing and maintaining huge amounts of data. Temperature management plays a key role in that. Data centres have equipment running constantly; so cooling systems are essential. But sometimes cooling systems consume even more energy than the servers they need to cool. That is why a well-designed cooling system must be in place in data centres.
Engineering simulation and computational fluid dynamics are standard technology in thermal management. Engineers use CFD to test data centre designs and their cooling systems so that they can identify potential issues or optimisation opportunities. Simulation results enable the engineers to correctly visualise airflow patterns and estimate the air flow and temperature distribution. This information can be used to optimise supply air-temperature and supply airflow rate. Thus the overall cooling costs are reduced.
- Disaster Recovery
In traditional computing system, solid backup plans need to be in place for data storage. If there’s a disaster, it could lead to permanent data loss if there’s no backup plan in place. Cloud technology on the other hand stores previous versions of software in the cloud, which can be easily recovered in case of a disaster, that too with minimal damage. There’s no need for a backup plan.
- Data Security
Data security is the prime concern of every business. With the ever-rising cases of data breach and cybercrime, it becomes extremely important to ensure that your data is not only securely stored but also handled. Cloud offers several advanced features to guarantee data security. Storing data on the cloud is often safer compared to storing it on physical servers and data centres.
Features like granular permission and access management enable cloud engineering simulation to restrict who can access sensitive data. This lowers the risks of security breach. There are also other security measures that businesses can take to boost cloud data protection and limit access to sensitive resources on the cloud.
- Unlimited Storage Capacity
The cloud has indefinite storage capacity for any type of data in the various cloud data storage types. The cost of storage depends upon the level of availability of data, its performance, and the frequency at which data needs to be accessed.
- High Speed of Deployment
New cloud computing solutions can be created quickly — an advantage that drastically improved the agility and speed of software deployment. This allows engineers and developers to test innovative ideas and design-application architecture without having to fret over on-premises hardware limitations or slow speed of procurement.
It doesn’t take long to see why cloud computing has revolutionised businesses and their operations. More and more companies from IT to Engineering are scrambling to adopt cloud computing for its benefits in production, collaboration, security and revenue.
All you need is an internet browser and a mobile or laptop with Wi-Fi connection. Upgrade your business to cloud computing to avoid the issues arising with traditional on-premises computing. It is very important that you choose a trusted service provider to enjoy the cloud computing benefits discussed above.
If you have any questions on how to effectively upgrade and benefit from cloud-based platforms, feel free to connect with Power Line Software to help you out with intelligent software solutions.