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CADspeed -- Optimizing Hardware for CAD Software

Autodesk 360, Part 1: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Posted by cadhardware

May 23, 2012 1:31:34 PM

I was fortunate to attend the Autodesk Media Summit in March this year and discover the company's new cloud initiative, Autodesk 360.

What Is Autodesk 360?

Autodesk 360 is the customer-centric cloud computing solution with a difference. Not only does it act as a cloud storage solution, but also provides CAD software and services based in the cloud to free up your hardware's processing power. It also allows you to run mobile apps on your enterprise mobile kit, such as tablets and netbooks, even smartphones.

So How Does It All Work?

Getting on to Autodesk 360 is very easy. Go to the URL 360.autodesk.com and all you need to do is get yourself an Autodesk User ID (the usual username and password thing). Once you have an Autodesk ID, you can log on to Autodesk 360 for your FREE 3GB of storage space. Using your Autodesk ID, you can also log on to any other Autodesk ID controlled webpage as well.

The Autodesk 360 front page. The Autodesk 360 front page.

Once logged in, you can utilize the Autodesk 360 services whatever mobile device you are using: laptop, tablet, phone. Notice the link to AutoCAD WS (the topic of my previous blog series here on CADspeed). Also, as an Autodesk Subscription customer, you gain access to even more 360 services using a credit system, where you buy cloud time on a pay-as-you-go basis. Plus, you get 3GB of storage space, just for signing up.

The Autodesk 360 front page once logged in. The Autodesk 360 front page once logged in.

The major benefit of Autodesk 360 is that you can access it anywhere you have a connection. So any device with that capability can be used.

I can see Autodesk 360 being a great hit with CAD and project managers who want to "manage" their CAD function. They can see all their drawings and documents in one place and, better still, they can collaborate (using the likes of AutoCAD WS and Design Review) and distribute project documents and drawings (to other Autodesk 360 users). This can be done on something as compact as a tablet like the iPad, or an Android device like the Motorola Xoom.

For the mobile CAD user, laptops are getting smaller and more compact, so full CAD apps can be used in conjunction with Autodesk 360 and with the provision of "heavy" services in the cloud, such as rendering and analysis, it could bring the requirement of a "brick" like laptop to an end!

Autodesk have revolutionized the way we work with Autodesk 360. It will allow us to embrace the mobile CAD movement and let us concentrate on our design and management processes while the cloud does all the heavy lifting for us.

In Part 2, I am going to show some of the functionality of Autodesk 360.

Author: Shaun Bryant

Topics: Workstations, Autodesk, Hardware, Facilities Management, AutoCAD, Mobile Workstations, Connectivity, Laptops, CAD

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