Cloudy and/or subscription CAD still adds vulnerabilities

Cloudy and/or subscription CAD still adds vulnerabilities

Remember when I skewered the myth of CAD on the Cloud being available anytime, anywhere? Back then, I pointed out that Autodesk’s infinitely powerful cloud services had managed a grand total of 2 problem-free fortnights out of the preceding 25.

But maybe Autodesk just had a bad year or something. How are things in 2017? Thanks to Autodesk’s health check site with its History option, I can see that so far this year, the grand total of 14-day pages that show no problems is…


That’s right, there have been no clean 100%-uptime fortnights at all this year. None. Most of the pages show multiple failures in multiple products. To be fair, the number of problems shown on each page is rather lower than this extreme example from 2016:

Even when there are no technical problems preventing the use of cloud or subscription software, there is always the possibility that it will simply go away. For example, NVIDIA has announced End of Life for its formerly Autodesk-integrated, once-best-thing-ever Mental Ray renderer. As of today, you can’t buy a subscription to Mental Ray standalone or the plug-ins for Autodesk products 3DS Max and Maya. As of today, the NVIDIA site still states apparently unironically that Mental Ray…

…remains the rendering solution you’ve come to count on within Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max

Maybe you shouldn’t count on it too much.

Rendering, with its potential for massively parallel remote processing on multiple other people’s computers, is a relatively attractive cloudy CAD-related function. But if that function becomes temporarily or permanently unavailable, that can make life a little difficult.

Aren’t standalone perpetual licenses a thing of beauty?


  1. James Maeding

    Its interesting to see the comments on that onshape post. Its like once someone starts critiquing, everyone jumps in and the posts get longer and longer. You call the king naked and the whole village starts to riot in support. I still cannot start adesk Infraworks, latest version, reliably. So while the chart shows known issues on the adesk end, it does not show unresolved issues on the user end, and I only have one product significantly tied to an adesk cloud, and its failing consistently. I have full admin rights and high internet privileges too. My users have less. This is for a desktop program that works offline, and gives the option of putting data on the cloud. What I need is the ability to turn off the cloud portion when I want, as it clearly is not shaken out.

    1. Steve Johnson

      Yeah, in my personal experience, Autodesk has a poor record with its software connecting correctly through a secure proxy server environment. Things that worked fine in one release fail totally in the next because somebody new joins the programming team and says “Hey, let’s do it this way!”, in ignorance of why things may have been done the way they were. Then the poor sap users are left with stuff that doesn’t work. Autodesk blames the user’s environment and tells them to blow huge holes in the firewall to work around it. Er, no.

      Autodesk desktop app is the most obvious recent example of this, but there have been many others.

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