SOLIDWORKS PDM in the Cloud

Increasingly, transitioning to the cloud is becoming the new norm. Today, there are a number of pain points that push for this transition. For example cloud hosting provides better backup solutions, out of office collaboration, outsourced maintenance and/or outsourced work. Whichever situation you find yourself in today, we are here to help! Of course, SOLIDWORKS PDM needs to be installed on a Windows Server Environment and that has always been associated with ON PREMISE. However, let me debunk that myth for you. Are you ready? Let’s talk about a SOLIDWORKS PDM cloud-hosted server.

Server & Cloud don’t go together, right?

Yes, they do! First of all, it’s easy to obtain a cloud hosted server through any number of providers today. InFlow has partnered with Advance 2000 to provide customers with industry leading hosted services technology. Further, SOLIDWORKS PDM doesn’t really care or know if you’re hosting the server in a data center or a closet. Therefore, if your current business case calls for it, we can recommend looking into this solution. Finally, we also welcome customers with their own cloud hosted solutions (i.e. Azure or AWS hosted environments).

Infrastructure

Repeatedly, I have seen hesitation and fear surrounding cloud hosted server infrastructure. Over time, I’ve learned that this isn’t something you should be afraid of. Let’s dive a bit deeper and investigate three major components involved with cloud hosting:

  1. Location, location, location! Where you are located has a huge effect on the system overall performance. Thus, some of the larger providers have data centers scattered all around the globe to serve this purpose better.
  2. Setup! This is another major factor that affects cloud-hosted environment performance. Let’s investigate a couple of different cloud-hosted server setups to get a better understanding on this topic.
  3. Support

EX1: Cloud Hosted Server + SOLIDWORKS PDM

SOLIDWORKS PDM Cloud Hosted ServerData Center: This is the main location where your data is stored. Usually, the cloud-hosting provider owns this.

Office: This is the main office location, where most users work and access the vault.

User at home: This category is growing significantly. Today, more and more users are working from home.

Site-to-site VPN: This is a permanent connection between the cloud hosted server and your office. IT encrypts this connection between the two locations. It’s much more robust (and faster) than regular remote access. Typically, it is setup as an IPsec connection.

VPN: A secure connection between user machines and their office server.

If needed, you can make a connection from end users directly to the cloud hosted server. There are several factors dictating this situation. Please reach out to InFlow or your account manager with any questions.

EX2: Cloud hosted server + SOLIDWORKS PDM + Archive Replication

Cloud hosted server with a replicated archiveData Center: Main location where your data is stored, it is usually owned by the cloud hosted service provider.

Office: Main office location, where most users work from

Office 2: Secondary office location.

User at home: This category has been growing significantly, more and more users are working from home today.

Site to site VPN: Permanent connection between the cloud hosted server and your office. IT encrypts this connection between the two locations. It is much more robust and faster than regular remote access. Typically, it is setup as an IPsec connection.

VPN: Secure connection between user machines and their office server.

PDM Replication: Please click here for more information on SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive replication.

If needed, you can create a direct connection between end users and the cloud hosted server. This is usually dictated by the current customer situation and is influenced by many different factors. Please reach out to InFlow or your account manager with any questions.

Support

Let us get the elephant out of this room, shall we? Unfortunately, due to the high number of variables surrounding cloud hosted solutions, SOLIDWORKS doesn’t fully support every cloud environment. Let me explain what this really means.

If software issues arise on an installation that utilizes these environments, SOLIDWORKS and Computed Aided Technology will attempt to reproduce the issue on a supported environment. If validated, we will pursue a solution just like any other support case. However, if we determine that the issue isn’t related to SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS PDM, we’ll to the best of our ability, convey this information to you.

Key Takeaway

In this blog, we discussed how SOLIDWORKS PDM can be used with cloud hosted servers. We also talked about the benefits and situations that might make you think about using SOLIDWORKS PDM on a cloud environment. Finally, we discussed a couple of different ways you can use a cloud-hosted service to host your current environment. We always want to help you find the right solution that fits what you need. If a cloud hosted solution is something you want to look into, please reach out to InFlow and Computer Aided Technology. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about it.

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