AutoCAD is a popular computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software program that is commonly used by architects, designers, and engineering firms. The software delivers tremendous value to those who require precise designs or 3D models for a wide range of applications – from structures to computer chips.
But despite its benefits, AutoCAD presents its share of challenges when it comes to collaboration and file-sharing since many architectural firms have multiple locations. With Morro Data CloudNAS, firms can use Cache & Sync with global file locking to improve their productivity and remove user frustration by making files easy to access and prevent unnecessary file loss.
AutoCAD designs are not saved as a single file; rather, the project is saved in what’s called a Sheet Set, which is a combination of many separate files that are layered on top of one another and all files in the set must be kept in sync. This causes the file sizes to become quite large which makes it difficult to share them from a centralized location using traditional methods such as a VPN which has problems with bandwidth consumption and latency issues.
Designers resort to copying files between and across locations, making it harder to collaborate in real-time and causing confusion regarding which is the latest file version. To share files, the remote user must be copy files to a local machine, and modified files are then sent back up to the central storage location. This type of back and forth is not only time consuming, but it also creates significant potential for version conflicts since no file locking is present.
Some companies have started using Dropbox for cloud file services. However, Dropbox does not support file locking and Dropbox organizes files per user, whereas ideally, all files would be available on a shared, centralized file server. Also, each Dropbox user must separately download the files consuming a large amount of bandwidth and can suffer from protracted delays, frustrating users waiting for the large file uploads to complete. The situation is aggravated when sharing files with colleagues or partners in China because the Chinese government routinely disables VPNs, and other methods of file sharing, such as Dropbox, are not allowed.
As a result, firms experience higher business costs and longer cycle times to complete their projects due to:
All of which adversely affects their revenue model and return on investment (ROI).
Using CloudNAS, AutoCAD users can simply drag and drop their files to a local CacheDrive using a drive letter interface on their computer and all files automatically sync to the cloud in the background.
With Cache & Sync, the files are immediately available to remote users facilitating easy sharing across teams while global file locking protects against version conflicts. The CacheDrive also significantly reduces the amount of network traffic created by designers continuously uploading and downloading large AutoCAD files from the cloud and then replicating the files between multiple offices.
And with Azure Active Directory support, IT can easily manage permissions, users simply access the CloudNAS using their regular Office 365 credentials. Working with AutoCAD files is now as seamless as working with Office documents.
Morro Data’s CloudNAS solves the challenges of sharing AutoCAD files between users in multiple locations. With the hybrid cloud file server, CloudNAS overcomes the problems of sharing files providing users with centralized storage and a global file system. In addition, CloudNAS provides additional benefits to IT with the ability to limitlessly scale to serve their increasing storage needs and maintain backup copies in the cloud. For designers, the user experience is identical to working with a local file server as if everyone was in one office.
CloudNAS has everything AutoCAD users need at an affordable price and greatly simplifies the storage, protection, and access of all files using a regular broadband connection. Read a case study: Wright-Pierce Engineering a Better Environment with Morro Data.