AWS Moves in Computer Aided Engineering with a Little Altair Help

Sounds like the cloud is way too slow for all this processing.

Engineering software vendors beg to differ. Autodesk broke the cloud ice with its Autodesk cloud service and its A360 tools. Now it is true the cloud is too slow for interactive modelling. But it is ideal for sharing files, collaborating, and accessing files remotely or from mobile devices.

Altair Jumps In

The cloud can also be good if you have a large rendering job and don’t have the horsepower in-house. Just send the model off to the cloud and let the service provider do all the work.

3-D powerhouse Altair has likewise jumped on this bandwagon, and seems to have a particular affinity for Amazon AWS.

The company is planning a roadshow, ATCx Cloud: Infinite Design Exploration, that will discuss how to use Altair on high performance hardware and the cloud.

The company will show off a new tool tailor-made for AWS. “HyperWorks Unlimited – Virtual for AWS, offering unlimited access to Altair HyperWorks and PBS Works. This offering provides the ability to scale at will, accommodating peaks in demand with no performance degradation. Instantaneous access, faster speed, the convenience of the web, and a completely configured HPC environment make Altair Cloud solutions an attractive choice for CAE and HPC,” the company said. “The Altair platform integrates the simulation lifecycle on the cloud, enabling engineering teams to perform and collaborate on large-scale design of experiments, stochastic studies, and numerical optimization with ease.”

According to Altair, by running this software in the cloud, these high-end features are now available to those that can’t afford to buy and manage high performance computing (HPC) systems in-house.

“Leveraging HPC for CAE has historically been restricted to those with significant resources and access to expensive hardware,” said Sam Mahalingam, Chief Technical Officer of Altair. “HyperWorks Unlimited – Virtual eliminates the need to build and support information technology infrastructure to support HPC. This solution provides access to a wealth of highly accurate solvers that enable engineers to simulate a broad range of physics, along with a world-class workload manager, remote data visualization, and data management, making infinite design exploration affordable, simple, and convenient.”
One customer is already sold, and using the cloud, with near infinite computer power, to scale. “Altair’s cloud solutions, namely HyperWorks Unlimited – Virtual on AWS, allow us to seamlessly scale our CAE needs through a simple application-aware, web browser gateway. We use HyperWorks on the cloud exactly the same way we would use it on our desktops, with the added ability of setting up large runs directly on the HPC infrastructure and post-processing all the runs on the server side, eliminating the need for downloading large result files. For companies like ours looking to do large-scale exploration, the ease of instantaneously accessing CAE and HPC without the massive integration expense and large deployment time is extremely beneficial. Altair is uniquely eliminating the barriers to HPC with its technologies and business model on the cloud,” said Martin Öman, Chief Operating Officer at LeanNova of Sweden.

The Fujitsu Cloud

Even some hardware makers are crafting clouds to suit engineers. Fujitsu, for instance, has built what it call an “Engineering Cloud” that supports computer aided design apps which are accessed via thin client.

The trick to make this work isn’t the speed of the Fujitsu cloud, but making sure customers have high speed connections to that cloud

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