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October 6, 2020

Ansys Cloud on Microsoft Azure: A Vital Resource for Business Continuity During the Pandemic

Around the world, many employees have needed to work from home due to the pandemic. While enabling this is important for businesses regardless of their industry, a work-from-home environment can strain IT resources, as remote workers can have difficulty accessing their employers’ technology platforms. Cloud computing is an essential tool to ensure business continuity in these difficult times.

For engineers, designers and analysts running simulations, it’s hard to work from home without a powerful computer. Some companies started by providing employees access to on-premises clusters but found that their IT departments were not prepared to maintain those clusters while out of the office. The burden on IT to emulate their office computing environment at home was difficult. Now, organizations have changed their assessment of risk. Many are shifting to the cloud to eliminate the physical operator risk of managed data centers.

Job monitoring in Ansys Fluent

According to Gartner Group, the total public cloud market was $182.4 billion in 2018. This value is expected to rise by 17.5% and reach $214.3 billion in 2019. Statista reports that the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market is leading the charts, showing a growth of 20.2% between 2018 and 2022, followed by platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).

Thanks to a recent Ansys poll, we know that around 40% of our existing customers are almost always cutting corners and doing simplified simulations because of compute limitations. In addition, 55% of the Ansys user base runs simulations exclusively on a laptop/desktop, and more than 60% are using less than 8 cores. Hardware constraints negatively impact simulation effectiveness for almost 75% of users.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Centralizes Simulation Workflow

Engineers need powerful computational resources to solve, pre- and post-process, and visualize complex simulations. Not everyone can bring their office workstation home or access taxed virtual private networks (VPNs) to connect to high-performance computing (HPC) resources. Even if they have access to a VPN, users still need to work with a powerful workstation capable of pre- and post-processing.

To make this possible, the Ansys development team worked tirelessly during the pandemic to integrate virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) into Ansys Cloud, which was developed in collaboration with Microsoft to combine the benefits of Azure and engineering simulation in a secure cloud solution. With Ansys VDI technology, any computer with an internet connection can be turned into a high-powered workstation capable of pre- and post-processing simulations. As a result, users working from home can now benefit from an end-to-end, cloud-based simulation workflow.

Ansys Cloud allows you to do the full simulation process on any
device connected to the internet

You can access Ansys Cloud from anywhere at anytime for simulation capabilities compatible with most of Ansys products. By using the cloud, hardware is no longer your concern. You pay only for what you need. You can improve your workflow and reduce expenses while boosting innovation. With Ansys Cloud, you remove IT constraints and security concerns, and focus only on what matters. Ansys Cloud allows you to collaborate with your team on an all-in-one, user-friendly single platform.

Ansys Cloud features an optimized graphical user interface designed to ease your workflow, especially when you are away from the office. Performance is not sacrificed because Ansys Cloud is a complete solution developed by Ansys and running on Azure, from solvers to the cloud, for architecture integration and security optimization.

Save Time with Simulation in the Cloud

For our customers already utilizing their own clusters, we’ve seen Ansys Cloud delivering results anywhere from 30%–100% faster than their on-prem clusters for similar core counts when using newer-generation hardware from Ansys Cloud, and up to 500% faster when using higher core counts. Customers who are looking to accelerate their innovation can benefit from the compute and network optimized cloud infrastructure of Ansys Cloud on Azure, which has been configured specifically for Ansys solvers.

Our customers are seeing the benefit of using Ansys Cloud. Tim Marvel, P.E. vice president, Business Development & Technology, Downing, says: “Ansys Cloud has been a game-changer from a productivity standpoint ... It has reduced the time of each job from 20–25 hours to only 2–4 hours.”

Marcos Blanco, Mechanical Simulation Engineer, LEAR Corporation, says: “The Ansys Cloud service built into Ansys Mechanical provides intuitive, easy access to HPC directly from the application. For large, high-fidelity models, Ansys Cloud reduced our solve times by 5X–6X and cut the entire simulation workflow by half.”

And Luis Baikauskas, Process Engineer, Hytech Ingeniería agrees: "High-efficiency equipment is critical for improving plant performance in the oil and gas industry. Ansys Cloud enables Hytech Ingeniería to calculate large and complicated geometries within hours, instead of days or weeks — resulting in significant time savings."

Ansys Cloud portal enables job monitoring from any device with a web browser

Thanks to new flexible Ansys Cloud licensing, VDI and HPC functionality are available to Ansys customers with elastic, pre-paid and leased licenses. You no longer need to use Ansys elastic licensing units (AEUs) to pay for software on Ansys Cloud; you can now bring your own license.

The benefit of Ansys Cloud technology reaches beyond the pandemic. Working from home and flexible hours are growing trends. They help employees achieve a better work/life balance while maintaining office efficiency at home. Work-from-home initiatives also benefit employers. Companies are no longer limited to a pool of simulation experts who live, or are willing to move, close to brick-and-mortar offices that contain computational resources. Instead, they can hire the best simulation expert for the job who can access a remote desktop from anywhere in the world.

Want to have a glimpse of the integration between Ansys Cloud and Azure? Start your free trial of Ansys Cloud today. You can also visit the Microsoft website or read the blog to discover how you can run business critical applications on Azure.



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