Cloud |

Strategy Overview


Cloud computing is transforming global IT in the 21st century and creating surprising new opportunities for re-thinking business processes. Multi-national enterprises have long sought a means to implement new processes faster and quickly deploy scalable solutions to users worldwide.

Cloud computing makes these goals achievable, while at the same time, cloud operations improve scalability, reduce risk and decrease costs. The future impact of cloud-based platforms however is even more significant. Cloud architectures will deliver the power to transform processes by securely connecting enterprise systems to aggregate data sets, online services and analytics for new, more effective ways of conducting business.

The Aras strategy for leveraging the cloud in enterprise Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) begins with a technology and business approach that is designed exactly for the cloud. There are inherent technological and business implications to deploying mission critical business applications in the cloud, and Aras has a distinct advantage from both an architecture and business model stand point.

Running PLM in Cloud Environments

Our perspective is that global companies will increasingly look to combine their existing data centers with Public cloud infrastructure and the Private clouds run by systems integrators in highly-secure hybrid scenarios to achieve the scalability, performance and collaboration required for large scale, extended enterprise PLM operations

Certain architectural and technical capabilities are necessary for a PLM software platform to run in the cloud, including comprehensive virtualization capabilities, robust security, architectural partitioning, distributed processing and more. Aras is a pure cloud architecture that is easily partitioned and takes advantage of the latest virtualization technologies. In addition, the system is entirely Web services-based for federated connectivity to existing legacy systems and on-premise data sources behind the firewall as well as cloud data services.

Equally important are the licensing and cost structure considerations that must be taken into account for cloud computing. The named user and module license schemes that are typical in the PLM industry are simply not economically feasible for large scale cloud operators. Aras solves these issues as well by eliminating PLM license costs and restrictions to provide a flexible deployment model with financial predictability at scale.

Cloud-Ready PLM Platform Technology

Aras has the ideal architecture for the cloud because of its (1) unique distribution of services and layers with clear separation between data, presentation and business logic, (2) model-based SOA framework for simple customization, (3) security structure and (4) Web services federation environment.

Aras is a cloud-ready PLM platform that provides the flexibility to deploy in either a traditional data center, onto cloud infrastructure or in a hybrid configuration, meaning both conventional and cloud resources. For example, a hybrid configuration might have multiple replicated vaults on-premise behind the firewall while application servers are distributed and clustered in the cloud.

Cloud-Ready PLM Business Model

While technology hurdles can stand in the way of a cloud deployment, we recognize that the business model and licensing structures of a PLM platform are equally important to enabling the cost-effective operation of PLM in the cloud. At Aras, our enterprise open source format eliminates PLM licensing expenses to fundamentally transform the economics of operating PLM in a large-scale cloud environment.

Our format provides the ideal cost structure for PLM cloud computing scenarios where 10,000s or 100,000s of users require access.

Aras Cloud-Ready PLM Platform

  • Distributed Architecture - Partitions cleanly to separate multiple vault, database and application servers
  • Virtualization - Runs on any virtual server including Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware and Xen
  • Elasticity - Capable of being provisioned automatically for dynamic resource allocation
  • Scalability - Ability to run in clustered environments that enable the use of pooled compute resources as needed in real-time without intervention
  • Multi-tenant - Able to run single system with different customizing and vaults for each organization
  • Adaptability - Capable of highly customized data schema and business rules ("modeling") without complex programming, with all customizations stored within the database to facilitate multi-tenant hosting
  • Upgradability - Perform major upgrades during continued operation without impacting system modifications
  • Federation - Entire system is Web services for secure connections to other systems and services whether on-site legacy or cloud-based
  • Network Security - Runs on HTTP/HTTPS (Port 80/443 only) connecting through firewalls without a VPN
  • Enterprise Security - Built-in at the architecture level across all business items and components
  • License Flexibility - No licensing obstacles to deployment

Aras PLM Cloud Strategy: Cloud Platform

Aras is an enterprise software company committed to delivering the most advanced PLM platform on the market.

The first phase of our PLM cloud computing strategy is very simple: provide an enterprise PLM software suite that is cloud-ready from both a technical and business model standpoint presenting organizations that want to run PLM on the cloud for large scale extended enterprise environments with the PLM platform of choice.

This is reality today.

Aras PLM Cloud Strategy: The Connected Cloud

Now, imagine a world where PLM business processes are seamlessly and securely connected to cloud-based data sets, knowledgebases, services and analytics available through commercial providers and public sources.

As data sets "of record" continue to expand in the cloud, such as online parts / component databases, referencing and retrieval during the PLM workflow will enable users to securely access and bring information to the point of use, in the right context. Additional services available through cloud APIs such as specification analysis, compliance validation, BPO product engineering services and others will further drive an integrated PLM workflow.

As the availability and quality of cloud-based data sets "of record", product engineering services and component quality compliance management business intelligence increases, it creates an opportunity to deliver real-time information and services directly into the PLM context.

We are seeing the emergence of high value-add cloud-based services for product costing, simulation, supply chain traceability, component sourcing and much more, all available to drive further efficiencies within the product lifecycle processes, as we connect these information and services in a seamless, accurate and real-time fashion within the internal workflows.

Accessing key data, processes and business intelligence in the cloud from the PLM platform enables global companies to leverage master information sources, utilize expert resources and perform complex analytics from within their corporate PLM environment. This represents an incredibly powerful benefit to corporate productivity and a realization of the actual ROI from the cloud.

This is the true promise of a cloud-based future, and this is where we are headed at Aras right now.


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