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Study Cloud Computing Engineering Simulation

Cloud computing promises a number of benefits to design engineering teams that use simulation as part of their product design and development process. The ability to tap into virtually unlimited compute power on demand to run increasingly higher-fidelity, more complex simulations—as well as simultaneous iterations of multiple simulations—can save valuable product development time. Simulation is expected to be a key enabler of broader digital transformation efforts as manufacturers take advantage of market disruptors such as electrification, autonomous technology and 5G cellular networks. Market forces increasingly make simulation and analysis more mandatory than optional.

Peerless Research Group conducted the cloud-enabled simulation study in April and May of 2019 on behalf of Digital Engineering for ANSYS, Inc., a leading global provider of engineering simulation software solutions. The purpose of this research is to better understand the obstacles, drivers and best practices when beginning or expanding the use of cloud-enabled engineering simulation.

According to the survey results, 17% of respondents are using the cloud for engineering simulation today, with another 20% planning to use it over the next 12 months. Those respondents say the ability to quickly scale up and down was their top justification for adopting it (49%), followed by lower overall costs (40%) and lower maintenance costs (33%).

Almost half of respondents currently using the cloud for engineering simulation have moved beyond the experimental stage, with 27% saying they’ve moved production engineering simulation workloads to the cloud and 19% saying their digital transformation efforts depend on the cloud and they’re using it for business-critical engineering simulation workloads.

Those respondents not using/planning to use the cloud for engineering simulation over the next 12 months cite security concerns (53%) as the top reason why. More than half (59%) of those who have adopted/plan to adopt cloud computing for engineering simulation say security concerns were an implementation obstacle, despite the fact that cloud deployments are more secure than many on-premise solutions. In addition, 51% had concerns about where the data is stored and performance computing (meaning how well their simulations would run in the cloud).

To better understand how those who have adopted cloud computing for engineering simulation successfully navigated implementation obstacles, we asked how they ramped up their cloud computing initiatives to determine best practices. When asked which one initiative is most important before deploying cloud-based engineering simulation applications, the top three answers were:

  1. Conducting performance tests for simulation on the cloud and sharing possible time savings with decision makers, 
  2. addressing cloud concerns (like data security) first, and 
  3. looking for a small but still significant simulation project that is not well-served by in-house infrastructure and demonstrating the value of the cloud for that project.

This white paper will explore how companies are using simulation on the cloud, meeting its challenges and justifying its benefits to company decision makers in order to realize its potential.


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