The discussion about PLM and cloud is moving to the levels where "details become important". In my view, many customers today are moving from "why cloud?" to "how we can leverage cloud?" type of questions. Cloud has many faces. In my previous blog post – PLM and the diversity of cloud options, I discussed how multiple cloud deployment options can be used for PLM – IaaS, PaaS, SaaS. Different PLM vendors are choosing different strategies. Here are some examples – TeamCenter is choosing IaaS, Aras decided for PaaS and Autodesk PLM360 is SaaS.
PLM industry is coming to the cloud with the a heavy baggage of technologies and products developed for the last 15-20 years. The existing PLM products and amount of customer investments into PLM program can raise valid questions about how to leverage these assets in the cloud. I’ve been reading TechCrunch article about CloudVelocity startup – CloudVelocity Launches With $5M From Mayfield To Bring The Hybrid Cloud To The Enterprise. Here is the interesting passage:
Users can discover, blueprint, clone, and migrate applications between data centers and public clouds. Currently, CloudVelocity supports full server, networking, security and storage integration with AWS but plans to integrate other public clouds, such as RackSpace in 2013. The beta trial of the Developer Edition cloud cloning software allows users to clone multi- tier app clusters and services, without modification into the Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 cloud. The Enterprise Edition enables users to clone, migrate and failover multi-tier apps and services into the AWS EC2 cloud.
The article made me think more about hybrid cloud and opportunity to expand existing PLM implementations to the cloud. Imagine, you can clone your existing PLM implementation and move it to AWS or RackSpace cloud? It allows you to build a secured environment to expand your PLM deployment into additional services. Here is a possible example. Many companies have BOM management implementation done as part of basic PDM/PLM programs. Future expansion of these services to NPI or Service Management requires additional resources and global availability. By "cloning" existing BOM management implementation to the cloud you can future expand to additional services.
However, I can see potential problems too. Many PDM/PLM environments have tight connections with desktop CAD applications. How to clone these environments to the cloud? This is a good question to ask.
What is my conclusion? The interest of customers to leverage cloud is growing. Still, many customers see cloud is a potential to implement something that they cannot do today with traditional PLM programs. Sometimes it is infrastructure limitations such as global deployment and sometimes it is related to cost implied into growing PLM deployment. I can see a growing opportunity to provide a technology enabling "to clone" existing PLM program to the cloud with future growth. It can be interesting option. So, dear PLM developers, somebody will clone you tomorrow in the cloud. What do you think about that? Just my thoughts…
Image courtesy of [Victor Habbick] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net