When I talk to CAD Professionals and get feedback on blogs like this, I’m a bit surprised how many individuals are stuck using business Desktop PCs as CAD workstations. In this day and age, when the cost of CAD workstations has come way down from the $10,000 price level of 20 years ago, this seems to be a case of “Penny wise, pound foolish”. The benefits of a real workstation are so compelling that it makes little sense, financial or otherwise, to try and dress up a desktop for serious CAD work.
There have been a number of very public security breaches in just the last few months. Whether it’s the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against banks and larger companies, or the loss of data by any number of enterprises, the simple truth is that vulnerability in the IT environment has never been a larger topic.
And the problem is getting more and more difficult to deal with. We are seeing new technology used to create more substantial threats like Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) that repetitively target individuals so that their compromised systems can lead into an enterprise’s key data and applications. In addition, there is a very real rise in state sponsored and organized crime based threats that are resulting in better funded and more technically capable threats.
Although CAD workstations were not often targeted in the past, this may well change in the future. As attacks move from nuisance to “for profit” the ability to steal design files and project information is becoming a valuable target. Gaining access to drawings is a major part of industrial espionage as it allows the thief to bring their copy of a product to market faster. The ACAD Medre.A virus is an excellent example of this kind of threat. Read full article »
In many of the blogs I post here we discuss the need for improved speed to solution and project completion that is at the center of many trends in CAD. However, it doesn’t just stop at CAD, there is increasing levels of integration beyond CAD to CAM and even the actual manufacturing process. The news is not that this is happening, but the amazing level of integration that is actually being driven by the various software and machine suppliers.
From a tactical perspective for the CAD professional, this makes the ability of the workstation to run the latest version of CAD software ever more important, as new versions with increased integration are coming more frequently. This is driven by the key factors contributing to greater integration. Read full article »
The productivity of CAD professionals is tied closely to the capability of their tools, particularly their workstation. In fact, there are few professions that have such high correlation between the tools and the output. This puts a needed focus on just what tools CAD pros are using.
In addition to the regular demands of the design work, organizations today are finding that they are moving ever faster, with quicker product development schedules and shortened time frames for completing key tasks. Simply put, everything needs to happen faster and more efficiently. This is why I believe that maximizing the productivity of the workstation is essential to meeting these challenges. Read full article »
It has always been a bit surprising to me that the same productivity and need arguments that have driven the movement away from desktop PCs to mobile PCs has not impacted the workstation market in nearly the same way. As I posted a few weeks ago, the cost justification side is quite compelling. The “need” and the cost justification are not the inhibitors to the growth of mobile workstations.
One of the reasons that I believe has caused this delay in the take off for mobile workstations is the concern that the laptop form factor just doesn’t have enough performance to meet the demands of CAD professionals. This is an urban myth. Looking at the new generation of mobile workstations, the performance levels are clearly at a point where most work can be done on them, and they also have the flexibility to meet the unique demands of individual users. Read full article »