There are a few companies doing this.
Check out www.epigrid.com
We had considered using Amazon for our EPDM implementation, but ultimately had to back off due to our very limited internet bandwidth. It would be really cool to have it all running in the cloud though.
A couple things to consider:
- If your company only has a single site, you might be better off buying an inexpensive Dell or HP tower style server and doing it in house. The cost of a cloud server with the recommended system requirements for EPDM will exceed the cost of a single lower end Dell/HP server in no time. That being said, if you are multi-site and would use EPDM replication, it may start to get more cost effective.
- Be prepared for Solidworks or your VAR to drop the "we don't support cloud installs" card at the drop of a hat if you have any issues.
- You are going to need a good internet connection, like north of 50mbps if you want it to be useable. Any time you open an assembly for the first time, or get a different version, you download it from the server to your machine, so lots of bandwidth is a must.
- Working with a company like Joy stated would be a good idea, I'm sure they have solved a lot of issues and would provide the proper support.
I think Joe's first point is valid if you were doing it yourself, but, I believe that is not the case with Epigrid.
I know the guys at Epigrid and I'm confident they would set you up with a trial so that you would be comfortable with the performance.
They also have the ability to set you up with a well thought out standard vault setup.
Give them a call or shoot them an email.
Thanks for the suggestions. I took a quick look at Epigrid and they look like a really neat PDM solution. They host their own cloud though, right? The biggest reason I'm asking about using PDM on a cloud is that the company plans to move everything onto the Google cloud service and integrate with Google business apps. Ideally, SolidWorks files and associated data should be in the same place. If that can't be done, then we'll have to set up some kind of connection between a dedicated PDM server or cloud with the main company cloud. Otherwise, features like automatic workflow will become less useful. Sales, marketing, customer info, engineering analysis would all be on Google cloud and SolidWorks PDM would be off on its own. I'm not sure how well that would work.
\You may also run into bandwitdth caps by internet providers.
Just to give some more context to my questions, please see my post: Workgroup vs Enterprise vs Adept: PDM for small company
It outlines the company structure and requirements in more detail and discusses a couple of of other options for PDM software that we are looking at.
In reference to your needs for a PDM system;
There are a couple core items that it looks like you are wanting information on:
- Comments on EPDM vs Workgroup vs Adept.
- Cloud services and options.
I will leave out Workgroup since based on your previous post, you may have ruled it out. I will also not do a feature to feature comparison based on your previous post.
First let's look a some fundamental difference between Adept and SolidWorks Enterprise PDM (EPDM),
- SolidWorks owns EPDM, therefor you know the level of support that you will get will be in line with your SolidWorks CAD package.
- If you have SolidWorks for your CAD package, there are few Adept resellers that support SolidWorks CAD (very well). You may be stuck with multiple VARS to satisfy your CAD and PDM systems.
- If you use Adept, and they decide not to support SolidWorks CAD in the future, you are going to be stuck not being able to upgrade your SolidWorks CAD package.
- The integration with EPDM and SolidWorks CAD package is extremely good, and it gets better and rich with each release.
Now let's look at your Cloud services option: (I will try not to sound like a sales pitch)
- This is a fairly new option for most companies that are wanting to host their files and data in the "Cloud".
- Google Cloud services, or any other will offer storage, connections, security, etc.. There are very few that offer a solution around any PDM system let alone EPDM.
- Please understand that Google is not a CAD/PDM hosting solution. There are a number of technical issues that you could run into.
- What ever information that you need from EPDM or SolidWorks CAD I am confident that we could integrate it with your Google requirements.
- The ability to host your files, and also implement EPDM the way that your business requires makes the pool of Cloud services even smaller.
- With EPDM you can have the best of both worlds, Database and Archive servers on separate servers or even in different locations to be able to maximize your connection speeds.
- It is not completely about the current number of people in your business accessing the data and files,
- It is more about what your companies resources are,
- If you want to have a server or servers for EPDM locally at your business you will need one or more people managing EPDM, Backups, Support, etc.
- Also what type of users are they, where are they located, are the in the office or do the telecommute?
- It is more about what your companies resources are,
Now for the Sales pitch...
Realizing the need for EPDM and the cloud, we formed a company (http://www.Stratus-X.com). Richie Yosten and I have been close partners for over 5 years, we have worked together on several EPDM implementations. TDA (http://www.tdaviation.com/) was one of the first companies that I know of that implimented EPDM in a Cloud environment I am very proud and happy to say the Richie and I were the architects in the implimentation. We implemented EPDM over 5 years ago at TDA in a Cloud Environment for a number of the same reasons that you are looking at. We can and would be happy to do the same for you and your company. We have 5 years of hosting experience that I do not believe you can find with anyone else.
We will have a demo vault up and running very soon. Additionally we will have a Web interface available (not the EPDM Web Client that ships with EPDM).
Richie or myself would be happy to discuss your needs and what options you have as for EPDM, CAD, and the Cloud. Please feel free to call us anytime. 214.552.5919 | email@example.com | http://www.Stratus-X.com
Sorry I am late to the party. I one of the founding partners of Epigrid
Joy is correct. We are succesfully hosting EPDM on a private cloud and offer full implemention and hosting services. Our optomized solution allows users to access vaults remotly using 3g, 4g and wifi hotspots. We currently have 2 data centers nationally and are hosting clients with locations internationally.
One of the things that makes us diffrent from other hosting options is that we are a Cisco Premire partner and offer network to facility support. This turn key approach was built to fit in to S&M buinsesses.
I have attached a link to an infographic to explain some of the benifits of our solution.
Joy, our managers have questions concering your company as rated on the internet comparted to your website's selling points. If you will, please clearify the information as false, imcomplete or true. I would encurage any IT or EPDM manager to research all of your options before selecting any cloud servce. We just need clearificaion to the facts and this is a good opportunity to clear this informaiton up for us.
Epigrid’s youtube statements: “We have been in business for 17 years” The business registry only indicates 1 year before partnership with Cimquest, Cimquest has been in business for 17 years (Cimquest is NOT a PDM hosting site). Epigrid claims to be local, in Gainesville, at a new 400,000 sqr/ft facility in the “Interstate Ridge Industrial Park Facility” (on their website, they list only 5,000 sqr/ft *see below). This park only list having 33,600 sqr/ft. See links below for ref. Epigrid claims to be the first ever PDM cloud service. My guess is that Epigrid is combining sqr/ft, experience, the tier one security all to Cimquest who is located in PA
COMPANY PROFILE FINDTHECOMPANY.COM
This listing is for Epigrid, Llc's Single Location in Gainesville, GA. The company primarily operates in the Engineering Services Companies industry.
• Epigrid, Llc was founded in 2012, and is Privately held.
• Epigrid, Llc had $280,000 in estimated annual revenue (Estimated data).
• Epigrid, Llc employs 0-10 (Show Value)5 people (Actual data).
• Of the 0-10 (Show Value)5 total Epigrid, Llc employees, 0-10 (Show Value)5 (Actual data) are located here at the Single Location.
COMPANY PROFILE FINDTHECOMPANY.COM
This listing is for Cimquest Inc's Single Location in Exton, PA. The company primarily operates in the Computer Systems Design and Related Services Companies industry.
• Cimquest Inc was founded in 1995, and is Privately held.
• Cimquest Inc had $740,000 in estimated annual revenue (Estimated data).
• Cimquest Inc employs 0-10 (Show Value)7 people (Actual data).
From Epigrid website: Big things are happening at EpiGrid! We’ve outgrown our office space and are moving across town to the Interstate Ridge Business Park. Our new 5,000 square foot facility will be home to our corporate offices and will include a corporate training area and testing facility for our engineering partners. Of course, your data will still be stored at our private, ultra-secure Tier 1 data center and backed up with our disaster recovery centers.
Epigrid: that the company plans to move everything onto the Google cloud service and integrate with Google business apps
"We currently have 2 data centers nationally and are hosting clients with locations internationally." Where and what is a "data center" that you indicate as "hosting"
What is your point?
This is pertinent information if offered in good faith but I think this would be better off forum as I'm not sure this is productive on this thread.
I am merely trying to determine what the intent of your post is. Have you had a bad experience with them?
p.s. The validity of internet ratings for companies is suspect from my experience
Hi Tim, just asking the question. I have concerns with this new expanding industry of EPDM cloud storage companies starting up. Stratus-X is another new EPDM start up company that is also only a year old. They just partnered with a company in Germany only months after incorporating. The point is that companies are in "trust" with proprietary critical data to a third party. Why would any manager not ask questions? The take-off with these services is that your company's information is safe and secure. That is the reason why I ask "Chad" about the "data centers". Example: is a "data center" 4 servers sitting on the floor with 10 terabytes of physical storage "hard drives" on a leased site? Or is "data center" in Colorado not leased sqr/ft but a "cloud storage" that an EPDM integrator leases. In other words, any company can just utilize Google Cloud service without a third party.
What my company plans to integrate is physical storage of active projects on site on a local network (outside a VPM network), cold storage on company owned hardware, then VPM encrypted backups to the "cloud" such as Google for a paid lease per gigabyte. In this way, our company controls information and security locally. If our information was threatened, we would have off site backups to restore to.
I would like to add VPM (WAN) networks are slow for most companies due to internet routing speeds and encrypt and decrypt codices. If modeling large projects with 10 users, Local area networks can run as fast as 10 gig BASE-T uncompressed and no need for encryption. Also, our local network is supported by our companies IT for the firewall so our EPDM vaults are replicated cross site on a private encrypted network (employees companywide -offsite- can view our files but at slower speeds). Keep in mind that if a company uploads ALL (and I mean ALL) of their proprietary data OFF SITE, that information is not local and as safe as the third party you blindly trust. Just something to think about.
I can truly appreciate your diligence in asking questions, I think we are all very open to helping each other out.
As for the EPDM Cloud, it is not going to be for everyone, but it does help a lot of companies that have multi site locations or even a single site but do not have the resources to support the infrastructure.
In today's world of small businesses running very lean and being highly focused on their products it makes since that they may not want to have a full or part time IT staff. Medium and large companies also can benefit from this where there are global locations that they do not want a physical server located in certain countries due to security reasons. In some instances we see the need that the end user only has VPN or TCPIP access to the data so that they can better protect the files from being confiscated or taken. There are many scenarios in which this makes sense.
In your description of what you are looking to do, you are not using the "EPDM Cloud" for what it is designed for, it sounds like you just want to store backups of data to a Cloud environment. That is absolutely fine.
Stratus-X has NOT partnered with a company in Germany, can you tell me where you have heard that? ("Stratus-X is another new EPDM start up company that is also only a year old")
Stratus-X was formed because we see that there is a great opportunity in the Cloud technology and we also believe that within a few years this will be a more common practice. We at Stratus-X believe that the environment for EPDM must by highly flexible in how it is implemented; for instance, we believe that the option to have multiple "Archive Servers" some being local and some being "Hosted" and the Database located in either location, Hosted or Not is a reality.
William, based on you description of what you want, I am not sure how much you know about the structure of EPDM. In brief There are 3 main components
1. The Database - This holds all Data about the system, meta data about files (Name, Descriptions,part number,etc.), permissions, references etc.
2. The Archive - This holds all of the actual files, all versions and some XML files that contain information about the versions.
3. The Client - The client has a local View to the data and files that when accessed the server copy the files to the local users computer.
Cold Storage is typically used to take unwanted Versions of files out of the system to free up disk space, or just to keep the history of the file more tidy, and maybe keep only Revisions. When you use Cold Storage, you have the choice to delete the versions or store them in another location.
In your scenario it would be an easy setup to have a "Replicated Archive Server" in the Cloud as your backup.
We at Stratus-X do NOT have our own server farms, and buildings for our Cloud environment, we use Rackspace for that for the very specific reasons that you pointed out. This is one area that differs from EpiGrid and Stratus-X. We believe that using a company that has been in business for years, and has established locations around the world is extremely important. You are absolutely correct in saying that you could just use Google Cloud all on your own, or even Rackspace for that matter, but what you will not get from them is the years of experience with using, implementing, developing, and supporting EPDM like what you would from Stratus-X.
If you decide you would like to go at it on your own and are interested in using Rackspace, please let us know because we are an Authorized Rackspace reseller.
Also, I would be more than happy to talk with you about your concerns or answer questions about what you are looking for.
Kip Speck CEPA
Hi Kip, FYI, I know well how EPDM works. But this information may help others here on this thread.
As Tim suggested, the internet CAN have misinformation as managers investigates vendors and clients (like an Angies list). That is the only reason why I ask the question… you can correct misinformation. The links I found about your company may be misleading. Look them over if you have the time and let us know. I don't just make things up but I do annualize what I can find. Maybe I was making a judgment ahead of myself before conferring with you.. in that case I apologies.
I did not think you made it up, just wanted to know where you got it from.
Stratus-X is an Authorized Partner for ARAS, ARAS is a Global company with main locations in Andover, MASS. and Munich, Germany. We joined ARAS so that we could offer our prospective clients a solution other than EPDM, which we are not a reseller of.
As for the Hosting side of our business, ARAS has nothing to do with it.
William, I appreciate the information, and if you made this connection then others may be doing the same, and this tells me that we need to have some clarification on our side so that it is crystal clear as to what we offer and the technologies that we use.
Kip, we have off site Replicated Archive Servers (on a companywide domain) that have traffic and speed issues. I WANT a local EPDM not a web hosted one. I want all on my date traffic local not broadcasted. I am thinking of using the cloud to cold store versions. Also, have a separate account for just backups so there is only upload bandwidth to store then to access. For now, our models are small so two 3 terabyte RAID HDD and a single 2 terabyte drive will be sufficient as cold storage alone while deleting like say, after 5 version "delete". This should hold us for some time as we expand. Sound reasonable?
Your are right though, there are many scenarios out there that that will fit the needs you offer for companies.
That absolutely sounds reasonable. If you find that Rackspace offers you the needed security requirements, please keep us in mind, as I mentioned before Stratus-X is an authorized reseller for Rackspace, and we can defiantly get things rolling for you.
As you noted in your reply, you clearly know what you want, and it is not hosted EPDM. However, this is a thread about hosted EPDM, as indicated by the original poster in his first post and follow ups. I am also someone interested specifically in hosted EPDM, and this thread has been very valuable. But you are coming dangerously close to derailing it, especially with your strangely confrontational (and poorly researched and cited) posts about "company history".
Please stay on topic. You can always start your own thread or contact Kip or Chad directly.
I completely understand your position to NOT "Blindly" trust a third party. I do not completely agree that a local network and local servers is necessaraly more secure. I have seen people steal files companies just by copying them to a USB drive, e-mailing them to themselves, all kinds of ways. I do not want to get into a large discussion over this issue.
We chose Rackspace as our "Cloud" partner for the very reasons that we were not going to "Blindly" trust a third company with our clients data and files. Wiliam would you not agree that In most cases, not all and maybe not yours, Rackspace is more secure than most businesses local server room.
Please take a look at http://www.rackspace.com/security/ download the PDF and do the research, I believe this will answer a lot of the security concerns.
I will, Thanks Kip!
Joy is a long-time associate of mine and is aware of our solution, but she is not on staff at EpiGrid. I will gladly clear up a few things about our company.
Our offices are located in Gainesville, Georgia at the Interstate Ridge Business Park. We occupy a 5,000 sq ft facility – not sure where anyone came up with the 400k number. EpiGrid was founded in 2012, but our leadership has long been in the IT and engineering industries – for 17 years and 15 years respectively. This experience and our business model in general has nothing to do with Cimquest.
Cimquest is a SolidWorks reseller who partnered with us back in the summer of 2013 to give their customers a comprehensive data management solution; simply this means we’ve streamlined the process for their customers to leverage SolidWorks software and our hosted solution. Our partner network also includes the world’s largest SolidWorks reseller, Hawk Ridge Systems.
In regards to the Google cloud: I believe Justin’s original post referred to his company moving to the Google cloud; EpiGrid is not associated with Google nor do we plan to be. We maintain two data centers–one in Georgia and one in Colorado where there is a low frequency of natural disasters (e.g. flooding, earthquakes, etc.). It is from these locations that our customers access their data.
We introduced the industry’s first privately hosted solution for product data management by combining our IT expertise and our engineering and data management background.
I hope this clears up some of the confusion. Please reach out to us directly if you’d like to discuss further. firstname.lastname@example.org
Honestly I read the post as "Hi guys, I don't really 'need' anything but here are a list of concerns...prove me wrong." I now see that is not what you were doing so thank you for expanding on your goals.
That clarified things a lot.
All the best,
Hi William - It's not my company. I'm just passing on information. Regards, Joy
For those of us with ITAR Controlled documents, offshore digital storage is a no-no.
Same here Jeff.
Justin, please research all the benefits and disadvantages to web based services. If you only seek advice from web based companies, they are not interested in any advantages to local networks such as speed, security and that your critical files remain on-site under only your control (replicated web based EPDM is not the same). My understanding, from Solidworks sales reps, Solidworks EPDM was designed for a local network infrastructure (but this is changing). This new age of cloud based web management is new. Some of these companies are only a year or two in business and have no real history yet to prove reliability (in EPDM web based management alone), but this too will change over time. Make sure you're WAN and internet speeds are fast enough to down load large models fast so your company remains productive. (Off site file access will have to be encrypted/decrypted and compressed/decompressed for each file transfer, unlike a local network.
I worked for Gulfstreem corporate that utilized Catia/Smarteam, similar to EPDM, and they had speed issue on a FAST local network. A web based system would never work for them (everyone would be on smoke breaks most of the day), and this is not what you want. Just hear both sides from your local Solidworks re-seller. Have your local Solidworks re-seller cover all the bases before you make that move.
Some of the best benefits to cloud based options is the ability to backup critical files off site (two site backup) and file sharing.