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Why your next workstation will live in the cloud

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Customer Success Story:

The Right Way to do

SOLIDWORKS

and Revit in the Cloud

Due to the whole COVID-19 pandemic many designers, engineers and architects are working from home and utilizing the “cloud.”

BOXX Technologies recently announced BOXX Cloud (BC), a pay-as-you go service that offers a high-performance workstation in the cloud, hosted by BOXX.

Like all of BOXX’s products and services, BC is purpose-built for CAD applications. According to BOXX, BC provides performance “identical to that of a high-performance desk side workstation.”

BC is powered by overclocked BOXX workstations with NVIDIA Quadro RTX graphics processing units (GPUs), and uses Teradici technology for security, in addition to supporting CUDA. A BC-hosted workstation can be accessed from any notebook, desktop, thin client, zero client, or tablet. Per the BOXX press release announcing BC, “Teradici PCoIP technology securely delivers lossless, high-fidelity color and high-resolution graphics. BC provides an enhanced user experience extending beyond the remote graphics capabilities of competing cloud providers.”

BOXX has been specializing in hardware and VDI virtual technology for 24 years to provide high performance computing for CAD and building information modeling (BIM) applications, including SOLIDWORKS, Revit, Inventor, 3ds Max, Creo, ANSYS, CATIA, and others.

With BC, customers can perform 2D/3D design, visualization and analysis, all while getting the same performance as if they were working on their desktop at work.

BC can also be used for visualizations done internally for sharing designs or externally for client presentations to provide a walk-through of the design via Zoom or other conference platforms.

ConnectPress caught up with Shoaib Mohammad, vice president, BOXX Cloud , to learn more about BC.

Their timing is good as Mohammad said they are seeing a lot more customers already working in the cloud or trying to figure out how to use their professional engineering application in the current work-from-home environment. However, BC has been in the works for over nine months as a large part of BOXX customers in the architecture, construction, and engineering (AEC) already work remotely and/or onsite and needed a high-performance solution not available from large cloud providers.

According to Mohammad, “Our main focus was to provide CAD and AEC professionals, who now have to work from home and don’t have the resources, access to BOXX performance without all the VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure] issues,” he said.

BOXX knows there are other cloud options like Amazon AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, which they claim doesn’t have the same performance of BOXX technology. Not only that, “VDI is too complex to deploy and maintain, plus their pricing is not inclusive so every monthly bill may include additional charges for things like bandwidth and power,” explained Mohammad.

Expanding on that Mohammad said, “Unlike large cloud providers, who provide a shared server approach for multiple customers, BC provides dedicated workstations in the data center with almost twice the performance of any other provider. Keep in mind, in most corporate environments, only 85% of the workstations are being utilized at any given point. The BC Workstation seats are exclusively assigned to the companies, where multiple users can access these on an as needed basis, saving money on redundant hardware and expensive software licenses.”

In addition BC is ideal for companies with 10 CAD seats or more; companies with limited or extensive IT expertise; and those who store their data both locally or in the cloud.

Currently BC is only available in North America.

How to Get Started

BC aims to lower the burden on IT departments. It is designed for a wider range of AEC firms, as well as manufacturing and product design (MPD) companies which may not have adequate expertise in VDI or cloud hosted deployments.

“It’s painless to get on board,” said Mohammad. “We offer very hands on sales and support,” he added.

In addition, Mohammad said BOXX understands that each customer is different so the company offers a proof of concept testing platform that can be tested ahead of any commitment.

With either a VPN or S2S setup the BC online platform will look and feel like it’s inside the customer’s own network. This gives customers freedom to install their own professional software licenses, plug-ins, and seamlessly access their local or data in the cloud.

For enterprise customers BOXX can also setup a online corporate image so every time they hire a new resource and need additional seats, everything comes pre-configured for fast enablement and minimum load on corporate IT.

What BOXX customers are saying?

After multiple attempts using other cloud services, Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects (SNHA), a leading architectural firm with offices in Chicago and London, became an early adopter of BC.

“We tried a number of cloud-based solutions, but each was unsuccessful in meeting our needs,” said Oscar Medellin, BIM Manager, SNHA. “What separates BOXX Cloud from the rest is outstanding performance and service. BC delivers higher performance to our architects while significantly lowering our IT burden. I can’t overstate the significance of that with employees working from home or the office.”

Computer Aided Technology (CATI), a value-added-reseller (VAR) of SOLIDWORKS and other engineering and manufacturing technology believes cloud migration will continue, if performance is consistent with that of traditional workstations.


“Even in our present work-from-home situations, it's essential for cloud service providers to deliver the same level of performance a user expects from their desk side workstation,” said Adrian Fanjoy, senior vice president, Operations, CATI. “Our thorough testing of BOXX Cloud revealed a flexible and highly capable platform that meets the needs of the most demanding SOLIDWORKS workloads."

The Bottom Line- What Will this Cost?

BC pricing starts at $750 per month per workstation seat and goes down to as low as $350 for multi-year agreements. The fixed price allows customers better budget planning and flexibility of moving from a Capex to Opex model so you don’t have to buy an expensive workstation and have IT staff maintain it. Customers can just pay the monthly dues and scale up or scale down based on the number of projects on an as needed basis. This also gives companies the option to hire remote resources without worrying about setting up offices or network infrastructure.

So what are you buying? “A best of breed CPU and GPU tuned platform that runs Intel CPU’s with BOXX overclocking technology backed by legendary BOXX service and support,” said Mohammad.

“You get the desktop experience where you can’t tell difference if working from the office or at home,” he added.


For More Information go to the BOXX Cloud Page

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