Autodesk edges towards taking money for Cloud services

Autodesk edges towards taking money for Cloud services

In an email to Subscription customers, Autodesk made several announcements about its Autodesk 360 Cloud services.

  1. Subscription users now get 25 GB per seat of Cloud storage, up from 3 GB. Non-Subscription users who create an Autodesk 360 account get 3 GB. The intent here, as with the trebling of upgrade costs, is to get you hooked on Subscription so you become a permanent revenue stream.
  2. More services are now available, apparently, but the list of services looks about the same to me. The table that lists which services are available for which products can be found here. If you’re an AutoCAD user, the only service available is Autodesk 360 Rendering.
  3. The services are now metered. You get a certain number of “cloud units”, and these are eaten up as you use the services. A standard AutoCAD user (with Subscription) gets 100 units. Each render costs you 5 units, so effectively you get 20 on-line renders per seat. That’s enough for a taster, but if Cloud rendering is as brilliant as Autodesk says it is, you’ll soon use that allocation up.
  4. The metering doesn’t mean anything – yet. If you use up all your units, it doesn’t matter. You can go on using more of them as long as you’re on Subscription.
  5. This free lunch will end as soon as Autodesk says so, or as soon as it puts a mechanism in place to charge you for units. No news yet on when that might be, but as parting you from your money is obviously the whole point of the exercise, I can’t imagine it will be too far in the future.

Autodesk reserves the right to change all of this without notice, and to terminate access to Autodesk 360 services at any time and for any reason.


  1. ralphg

    Autodeks needs to increase revenues, so this is no surprise. As the ceo of Vectorworks told me, cloud storage is cheap and so it can be free; it is cloud computing that is expensive, things like renderings and FEA analysis.

    Eventually, it’ll become cheaper to do these things on desktop computers (where you pay once for as many jobs as you need), than paying by the job, 1980s mainframe-style.

  2. James Maeding

    The problem I see is Autodesk has made cloud storage per user.
    My company might have 50 seats on sub, but the storage is all split up.
    It needs to be that the sub administrator decides what accounts get what.
    They seem to forget about what CAD managers need, which is odd since we decide what get’s bought, if money is available to begin with.

    1. You’re absolutely right. I guess the storage split doesn’t matter as long as people are only trying it out. If the bulk of customers start taking the Cloud seriously, I suppose Autodesk will need to get its act together in this area. Not much sign of that yet, though.

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