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Wolfgang Gentzsch
Wolfgang Gentzsch
Wolfgang Gentzsch is president and co-founder of the UberCloud, helping engineers and scientists to move their complex simulation workloads to public and private cloud resources. Wolfgang was the chairman of the International ISC Cloud Conference series from 2010 to 2015. Previously, he was an … More »

CAE and Cloud Computing Among the Big Winners in Coming Years

January 8th, 2020 by Wolfgang Gentzsch

Editor’s Note: As we have for the past several years, we provide a look back at the past year and the year ahead. This time around we have a new twist. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be publishing MCAD industry predictions from prominent contributors representing different segments of the industry. These contributed articles should provide some interesting insights!

Many industry analyst predictions for 2020 are anticipating a wider and growing acceptance of Computer Aided Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Industry 4.0, Digital Twins, 3D Printing, and Cloud Computing; no surprise, as this is an (accelerated) continuation of the last few years. Many of these areas will make an increasing use of cloud computing. Market analyst Hyperion, the former IDC team dealing with high-performance computing, HPC, forecasts a market growth for HPC Cloud from $2 billion in 2019 to over $7 billion in 2023! Another impressive growth has been predicted for Computer Aided Engineering, CAE: According to a new study published by Polaris Market, the global CAE market is anticipated to reach USD 11.86 billion by 2026, up from $6.6 billion in 2018. Interesting, the increasing penetration of smartphones and tablets are among the major factors driving the demand for CAE software.

But behind many of these trends is one big common trend fueled by the engineers’ desire to make their complex and demanding tools and techniques more applicable, economical, user-friendly, intuitive, and automated, to be finally available and usable by every engineer. This common trend is now well known as Democratization of CAE, mainly driven by user-friendly GUIs, increasing quality of simulation software, CAE as a (Cloud) Service, Appification, Containerization, and more. In our CAE community, we see this trend greatly supported by organizations like ASSESS, COFES, NAFEMS, Revolution in Simulation (Rev-Sim), and companies like UberCloud, OnScale, and SimScale, and by many other outstanding groups and individuals.

To support our 2020 prediction, similar to our prediction last year we are looking closer at two engineering examples which we are most familiar with: CAE cloud computing and containerization of engineering applications. These are two areas not yet widely known in the engineering community, but they are extremely useful for engineers who are looking for designing their products faster and cheaper, and with higher quality, driving innovation and improving competitiveness. More computing resources (in the cloud) make your simulations run faster and allow you to run more simulations in shorter time, and more simulations (on more powerful cloud resources) lead to higher-quality products and faster time to market. In addition, novel application software containers, sitting on powerful cloud resources and hosting (“containing”) the engineer’s complex simulation workflow and data, enable engineers to access all software and hardware resources they need, in a seamless, intuitive, self-service, and on-demand way; no need to learn anything new, no need to wait for your simulation jobs to be executed, just open your browser on your workstation, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, login with your password and have immediate access to all the resources you need, at your fingertips. A true step forward towards democratization of CAE, for every engineer.

To complete this picture for 2020, another software technology is currently becoming vastly popular especially among IT experts running IT resources (including those for HPC and CAE) and operating even whole data centers, is Kubernetes, an open-source platform for automating deployment, scaling, and operations of enterprise and engineering application containers across clusters of servers. Kubernetes, originally developed by Google and recently offered by companies like HPE, IBM/Red Hat, VMware, and Pivotal, and cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google, works with containers like Docker for microservices and UberCloud for high-performance (CAE) computing. The great benefit of Kubernetes and CAE containers for engineers is that their simulation workflows can now be fully portable and can run across many different computing resources, be it on premises or in any cloud.

Category: Industry Predictions

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