Cloud workstations for Siemens NX – Microsoft Azure NVv4 offers design and manufacturing firms the performance and reliability needed to run demanding 3D CAD applications
When choosing a workstation on which to run Siemens NX or other demanding 3D CAD/CAM/CAE applications, Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certification is extremely important.
ISV certification means your software developer has tested the workstation platform and confirmed that the CAD application you rely on every day runs smoothly and reliably. And, importantly, that you will be fully supported when using the software.
ISV Certification isn’t just limited to desktop and mobile workstations. Design, engineering and manufacturing firms can now get the same peace of mind when using new generation Windows 10 cloud workstations.
The beauty of Microsoft Azure NVv4 cloud workstations is that hardware resources can be precisely matched to workflows – in a similar way that one might configure a desktop workstation with different components.
Last month, Siemens NX joined PTC Creo, Autodesk Inventor and others as a ‘certified’ application for Microsoft Azure NVv4 Windows 10 cloud workstations. Powered by AMD technology, including 2nd gen AMD EPYC processors and AMD Radeon Instinct GPUs, NVv4 virtual machines (VMs) offer incredible flexibility for running CAD in the cloud.
The beauty of Microsoft Azure NVv4 cloud workstations is that hardware resources can be precisely matched to workflows – in a similar way that one might configure a desktop workstation with different components
Siemens NX covers many different sectors, from industrial design and product engineering to heavy machinery and aerospace. As a result, the workstation requirements of its users can be quite varied.
Other Microsoft Azure cloud workstations offer a choice of CPU cores and memory but are all configured with the same high-end GPU. When it comes to less demanding users of Siemens NX, like those in the supply chain who might only be working on smaller assemblies, this means firms can end up paying for GPU resources they simply do not need.
With Microsoft Azure NVv4 you can go down to a granular level in terms of GPU resource allocation. This is made possible by the AMD Radeon Instinct MI25 GPU, which can be ‘virtualised’ at a hardware level. Customers can choose from four different VMs – either with one eighth, one quarter, one half or one whole of a Radeon Instinct MI25 GPU.
For small assembly modelling in Siemens NX, for example, the NV8as v4 instance (1/4 MI25 GPU, 8 CPU cores and 28 GiB memory) might be a good fit, whereas those working with larger models might be better served by the NV16as v4 instance (1/2 MI25 GPU, 16 CPU cores and 56 GiB memory).
Microsoft Azure NVv4 is also great for multi-threaded workflows thanks to the 2nd gen AMD EPYC processors which feature lots of CPU cores. Users of Siemens NX CAM or Siemens Femap with NX Nastran, for example, can dramatically accelerate complex calculations with the NV32as v4 instance, which features 32 CPU cores, 112 GiB memory and one M125 GPU.
Running Siemens NX in the cloud
Last year Siemens Digital Industries Software gave its first demonstration of Siemens NX running securely in the cloud with Microsoft Azure NvV4.
Using a Workspot cloud workstation provisioned in Microsoft Azure, Siemens showed a typical design review workflow for a complex aeroplane system. With a fast internet connection, the 3D assembly could be moved smoothly and responsively in Siemens NX in various viewing modes.
Workspot, a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider, offers a SaaS platform for quickly deploying Microsoft Azure NvV4 cloud workstations running Siemens NX and other Windows 10 applications. The company has extensive experience of working with 3D design and engineering applications and provides firms of all sizes with easy-to-use tools with which to deploy, scale and operate cloud workstations.
Using a single management console, cloud desktops and workstations can be deployed in multiple global Azure regions – whichever is closest to each user – making it easy to manage international design teams.
Workstation provisioning can be incredibly fast. The first sets of users can typically go live in just a few days. Firms can then roll out subsequent cloud workstations in under an hour. Compared to the weeks it would typically take to procure, configure and ship a desktop workstation, this is a substantial improvement.
Moving forward, ongoing IT management is dramatically simplified. Individual physical workstations no longer need to be managed and secured and IT resources can easily be scaled up and down. It can also help with finances as companies embrace modern, predictable OPEX-based IT provisioning.
Once up and running, the Windows 10 desktop can be accessed from anywhere, on any device, such as a laptop or home PC. For firms that have already moved their workstations to the cloud, this has proved particularly beneficial during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Microsoft Azure NvV4 cloud workstations only stream encrypted pixels. All CAD data remains in the Microsoft Azure Cloud, making it much easier to secure Intellectual Property (IP) throughout the supply chain. It also helps ensure everyone is working on the latest revision and allows IT managers to change file access permissions at the click of a button.
“Siemens NX on Azure has enabled us to provide customers instant remote access to NX with no downloads, installs, or configuration,” says George Rendell, senior director, NX Design.
“User feedback on the latest version of NX on Azure across US and Europe reported very positive performance and user experience. NX continues to provide best in class flexibility and deployment options including the ability to now scale on demand to allow any number of users.”
Find out more
To learn more about running Siemens NX in the cloud listen to experts from Siemens, Microsoft Azure and Workspot in this on-demand webinar.