Some Thoughts On Cloud Computing

Earlier today when I was listening to the general session speeches being made by the CEO’s of the various DS brands, I made a tweetlaration (a declaration on Twitter). I tweeted:

Actually, the only other major engineering software vendor I know that is doing anything about cloud computing is Autodesk. But they seem to be taking a cautious approach and are developing stuff that can be use by people today, not five or ten years from now. At least that is what they are talking about and letting us play with. I have no idea what PTC and Siemens PLM are doing about cloud computing. I am hoping they know what they are doing about it.

Here is how I see it. Ten years ago a mobile phone was a device I used make a calls and send short messages to people. Today the “phone” is merely an app on a device that the world, out of sheer habit, calls a phone.

Anyone who thinks that ten years from now we will be doing computing like we are doing it today is bone headed. Anyone who thinks that ten years from now we will be using the internet like we are using it today is devoid of imagination. I could go on. But I think you get my point. The common sense reality is that things are going to change. And once you accept that then as a human being who has been blessed with a brain you are obliged to ask yourself, “So what will change? And what will it change to?

It looks like a smart fellow called Bernard Charles in a company called Dassault Systemes has already done that and has forseen the kind of turn computing is going to take in the next few years. He has decided that his company should be ready with a solution crafted to perfection when (not if) he needs to take that turn.

Hardware will always improve. Like electricity internet connectivity will always get faster and more stable. But the one thing that will always remain the same is the number of hours in a day. We will always want to do more with the same amount of time at our disposal. Tools and devices that restrict us from doing so will not be used. Its as simple as that. I firmly believe that computing is going to be more about user experience and less about the actual processing of input to yield output. Computing is going to be less about what you do and more about how you do it.

A few years ago you may have bought a mobile phone without WiFi. Will you do that today? Today you may buy a mobile phone that doesn’t act like your guardian angel, monitoring your health and safety and also notifying you about the health and safety your loved ones. Will you do that a few years from now? Think about it.

I see no point speaking sense to people who use the limitations of today to rule out the possibilities of tommorow. I will leave you with some words used in the “Think Different” Apple advertisement campaign of 1997:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Apple Inc.”

  • Ralphg

    “Hardware will always improve.” Actually, not.

    CPU speeds have effectively stalled for a number of years now. Multiple cores scale poorly. GPUs are powerful at computing, but have failed to go  mainstream. Smartphones are hobbled by disastrous battery life. Internet connections are painfully slow, relatively speaking, and many ISPs show little interest in going Korea on us. 

    • If you think that the problems you listed are permanent and will never go away, I really can’t argue with you, now can I?

      BTW, one of your problems has already been solved. The battery life one. My iPhone protection case is actually a battery pack that lasts me for two full days with heavy continuous usage without a recharge.

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  • Everyone know that cloud computing is a sea. Now only I have started to learn. So your thought is very much useful for me. Thanks for sharing.

  • “Think Different”

  • Davre Ault

    Rather than just stating how backwards looking cloud opponents are technically perhaps we should put the shoe on the other foot. Where are the service guarantees to the users in all this? I hear grand words of how wonderful this new paradigm is but notice that not one of these companies produces a product they will stand behind.

     If Dassault had a real product that worked outside of canned demos you can bet they would be selling it right now. They have not been able to work out the impossible details of how to make all this work across infrastructure they neither own or control and I have seen nothing to counter that statement in the real world.

  • Anonymous

    Deelip, as we both heard Bernard earlier this week, cloud is about “social responsibility”. It was an interesting take, since it can turn cloud efficiency to the green enablement. Some people can argue what is the cost of every search on Google… However, if tomorrow DS, Autodesk, or any other engineering software provider will be able to cut cost and enable required functionality, market will be disrupted. Just my opinion of course…. Oleg 

    • Dave Ault

        Speaking of social responsibility did Bernard etal say anything at all about the idea of responsibility to their upcoming cloud customers? Perhaps to guarantee performance of any of their products for function across the web which they don’t own or control? I don’t understand why this question is NEVER answered by any cloud proponent. Is there something to hide here?

      • Anonymous

        I don’t believe, there is something to hide. The answer on your question from any cloud provider is simple (in my view) – SLA.

      • Demanding a 100% up time guarantee is as ridiculous as demanding that SolidWorks will never crash. This is also the same as demanding that Parasolid or DCM (both owned by Siemens PLM and not SolidWorks) or any other third party component will never make SolidWorks crash. This also same as demanding that no third party add-in that comes shipped with SolidWorks will ever crash SolidWorks. This is the same as demanding that Windows on which SolidWorks is running will never crash. I think you get my point.

        Do you control everything that your business depends on? I mean everything. 100%.

        Be realistic.

  • Moriarty

    3 words why it wont happen GLOBAL FINANCIAL COLLAPSE

    • Kevin Quigley

      As a product designer there is a great truism. That people only know what they want once they are shown it, and, they know what they don’t want when they are shown it. Had DS not shown SolidWorks 6 last year we would be none the wiser and less polarised.

      We will only know what the future is once we see it then we can all look back with 20/20 hindsight and congratulate ourselves about how insightful we all were…..or not.

  • @olegshilovitsky:disqus

    Tomorrow may come sooner then you think…..

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  • Kevin Quigley

    Cryptic Anna 🙂

    I wonder if we can expect more flesh on the bones at SWW2012?

  • joeAggie

    You forgot to put disclosure that Monsieur Charles and his compaigne paid you to attend this theater and nice words about it.

  • I was talking about Siemens and Local Motors partnership and Solid Edge Design 1 which was announced today.

    I sure hope we see something on SWv6 at SWW2012.  No sneak peeks to anyone that I know.

    • Kevin Quigley

      Had to laugh when I read that. Do siemens really think people will pay 20 dollars a month for a cut down version of their 2nd best system? 20 for NX perhaps but SolidEdge? Personally they’d be better off buying ViaCad or Alibre and get a full system.

  • Nurk

    Alibre now own’s by 3D System btw…

  • Anonymous

    you write in a lucid manner and I have no difficulty to understand what you have said, even though I am a novice.

  • Anonymous

    you write in a lucid manner and I have no difficulty to understand what you have said, even though I am a novice.

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