David Heiny explained that engineers and scientists can use engineering and technical simulation in the fields of structure mechanics, fluid flow analysis, thermodynamics, and also acoustics, just by using a web browser. They log in at the SimScale platform at www.simscale.com , upload a CAD model, can interact with it in 3D, set up the simulations, run it in the Cloud, and postprocess the results directly online.
David Heiny has joined the panel discussion at ISC Cloud'14 about ISV challenges with the new Cloud models. He found it very interesting because SimScale is in need of a Cloud company. As a young start-up SimScale does not have the old challenges so it is very useful to discuss other opinions on that, to talk to people concerned about the secure hosting of applications that SimScale develops and ISVs that try to find solutions to handle these new opportunities. SimScale can learn a lot from these discussions.
Primeur Magazineasked David Heiny about the main challenges in the uptake of Cloud in engineering.
David Heiny explained that there are multiple types of end users. There are end users who have dealt with simulation for the last 20 years. They have purchased a lot of hardware to run their simulation in-house and they have their computing infrastructure. On the other hand, there are end users who are small companies that now have a flexible access to computing power. They can leverage these new technologies. The challenges are very diverse when you look at these different types of end users.
Security is definitely an issue for all of them. The next point is adaption, the mental adaption to these new situations and to these new technologies. They are challenged in many different ways and it is not that easy to answer this.
Primeur Magazinewanted to know whether running in a web browser has specific performance implications.
David Heiny answered that it depends. The use of a web browser indeed has limitations but at the same time, there are also limitations for remote desktop computing where you have other disadvantages. In the end, it highly depends on what kind of application you are trying to deliver to a user.
The main advantage of a web browser is that you have no installation. People are used to it and engineers use it, maybe not for engineering software but for other things. If you stick to some user interface principles, you can leverage it in a great manner also to engineering software.
There can be other settings of other sorts of engineering software where it might make sense to use remote desktop computing. In the end, it all depends on the specific use cases you are talking about.
Primeur Magazineasked which applications are running on the SimScale platform.
David Heiny explained that it are classical mechanical engineering simulations, structural simulations, linear and non-linear, of assemblies and parts, including harmonic Eigen frequency analysis. Some users also perform fluid flow analysis because it is very compute-intensive, depending on the model you are running. SimScale also has compressible and incompressible fluid flow analysis. There is also multi-phase simulation available. Some smaller parts include thermodynamics and acoustics.
In general, the SimScale platform has been built in a way that it can deliver simulation functionality that is somehow concerned with computationally intensive applications and 3D interactivity.
Primeur Magazineasked whether SimScale is managing its own Cloud.
David Heiny said no. SimScale is not a hosting company. SimScale is using different kinds of hosting solutions for the platform. There is a server component with a static load and there are Cloud components that are hosted by Cloud providers.