Making Hosted Cloud-Based CAD Solutions Attainable for SMB Engineering & Manufacturing Companies

CAD in the Cloud / April 21, 2022

Many companies struggle with managing a SOLIDWORKS Product Data Management (PDM) environment in the cloud to better collaborate with global teams. It’s hard to believe it’s been ten since we started hosting our first SOLIDWORKS PDM customers. In 2011, we were a contract engineering services business with the idea that the cloud PDM solution we had developed to support our contract engineering services business could also help other businesses.

Are You Struggling To Make PDM Easier Using Cloud Technology?

At the time, we founded EpiGrid with a simple objective – Make PDM attainable for SMB engineering and manufacturing companies by overcoming typical IT and administration resource constraints. Our business has benefited greatly from our hosted PDM solution, as it allowed us to more effectively collaborate with external contract resources and scale to meet constantly changing project needs. We were confident our solution could help others, but I don’t think we had any idea where the journey would take us.

It wasn’t long before we realized that customers needed far more help than just PDM. It seemed every customer suffered from some sort of IT or resource constraint preventing them from implementing a PDM system. As we added customers, we adapted our service offerings to become a more comprehensive cloud hosting and managed service provider for businesses using SOLIDWORKS.

Over the past ten years, we learned a lot about the IT challenges customers face and the type of solutions needed to address their challenges. Back in 2011, we architected our hosting solution to meet customer needs and security concerns of the day. However, since that time, the hosting and cloud solutions landscape has changed significantly with the rise of advanced malware and cyber-attacks. Although we still had a secure and stable solution that served our current solution needs, we had reached the time when we needed to make some tough decisions on meeting the new challenges that clients were facing. We began an effort to completely re-architect our infrastructure solution to directly address the critical performance and data security requirements and expand our offerings. We call it EpiGrid 2.0.

Looking for Secure Global Data Centers To Support Offshore Operations?


Our engineering and manufacturing customers were increasingly asking for global data center availability and public cloud options to better support offshore operations. To answer this call, we have gone global by adding MS Azure cloud resources to your offerings. Our new global hybrid cloud solution incorporates three domestic data centers and two Microsoft Azure data centers to provide our customers with resource availability in every region of the world. Network security is always the most important concern for customers of any cloud solution. With this in mind, we have made both network and data security a key differentiator of our new cloud-based CAD solution. To connect our global data centers, we have partnered with Sophos, the industry leader in cybersecurity, to build a secure low latency global network solution to provide maximum connectivity for customers worldwide. To protect your engineering and product data, we have created a proprietary, industry-first, multi-layer data redundancy solution that we call RansomGuard. The foundation of this solution is our next-generation A/I-powered cybersecurity network. This network is backed by rolling immutable snapshots and a Veeam backup solution that replicates data to geographically separated storage systems and data centers. These geo-redundant backups combined with our best-in-class network security make our EpiGrid 2.0 solution the most secure engineering managed cloud solution on the market.

Need Higher Performance and Speed for Cloud-Based CAD Software?


Engineers’ demand for higher performance is never wavering. Providing hosting and cloud solutions to these end-users over the years has taught us a great amount about how to diagnose and optimize cloud performance. Factors such as connection speed, network latency, and even user configuration can play into the user experience. Disk performance, however, is a constant that affects the local or cloud user experience. To best address this for our customers, whether on our domestic private cloud or MS Azure, EpiGrid only uses the fastest storage available. Our domestic private cloud utilizes high-performance geo-redundant storage solutions that leverage RAM accelerated SSD storage arrays to provide the fastest cloud storage on the market. This RAM accelerated solution uses large amounts of RAM to buffer write operations to dramatically reduce storage latency and improve the user experiences of our most popular products and offerings.

Concerned About Scaling Your Computing Needs With Cloud-Based CAD Desktops?


Advancements in technology are at the center of our new solution. However, over the years, none of our offerings has changed and advanced more than the technology that drives our virtual desktops solution. We were there in 2013 to host one of the first NVidia GRID appliances. Since then, we have successfully guided our customers through various architectures and technology upgrades to our latest Windows 10 virtual desktops solution. Available in configurations for every workload, our new solution is powered by NVIDIA GPUs, high-Performance RAM accelerated storage, and is protected by (MFA) multi-factor authentication. Like all EpiGrid solutions, such as our managed cloud servers, each virtual desktop is covered by our comprehensive managed services. No matter the application or compute requirement, this solution provides our customers with options to scale their workforce compute needs with only the need for access to a web browser.

Searching for an Expert To Be Your Guide to Hosted SOLIDWORKS?

Our time as the 1st and only SOLIDWORKS certified solution partner for hosting solutions has made us the leader and subject matter experts in developing and deploying cloud solutions for engineering and manufacturing using SOLIDWORKS. The experience we gained and the challenges we have faced led us to create this 2.0 solution to address our customers’ concerns. Over the coming weeks, we hope you will follow along as we introduce more details about our offering that will clear your organization’s pathway to the cloud.