COFES 2012 Epic Cloud Failure, Dassault and Autodesk Buyers Beware!

As far as I can tell COFES is supposed to be as cutting edge as you can get. Numerous companies touting hi-tech and latest tech shining a big light on the inevitable way of the future. And if you attend you can see it all unfold in front of you today!!

This little blooper to me is a perfect demonstration of why the cloud will not be useful for full-blown CAD in my lifetime. There are just to many variables way beyond the control of those who wish to force us there for any rational person who cares about reliability, security and cost containment to ever seriously consider it.

So we have this fine hotel that has experience doing this exact same convention for 13 years and the wi-fi/internet whatever that is required to function online capably. Problem is that in real life the bean counters say what you can do and it is a game of cat and mouse. What can we do to provide the barest essentials without making to many users mad the bean counters ask. So the spreadsheets come out and they analyse the numbers to find the sweet spot that costs them the least and makes them the most. They are in business after all to show the greatest profit for the least expenditure.

Enter into this cost efficient world the anomaly of high bandwidth users who are a small minority of all users but demand a huge percentage of your resources. What you get is COFES 2012.

Above and beyond all the outright lying about security and cost effectiveness cloud proponents wax so eloquently about there is another whole category that will prevent any but the foolish from going there. Just how to these fraudulent cloud perpetrators propose to control this infrastructure they do not own to guarantee all these wonderful things they promise?

The answer is that they don’t. In the world of CAD we have two behemoths in the forms of Autodesk and Dassault who are determined to force users to a cloud subscription model. Lets just cut right through the PR fluff and look at it for what it is. Unbridled lust for never-ending cash flow from subscribers who have to pay to play. No regard for numerous unsolvable technical problems accompanies the media blitz of glowing self-produced endorsements. It is the CPA MBA wet dream fantasy world of getting never ending gobs of your cash without being held accountable for results.

Is this not true? No where in all these PR blitzes has there ever been a clear spelling out of obligations and guarantees between users and producers of this cloud stuff. OK all you cloud lovers, here once again is a chance to trot out your copies of the EULAS for us to see. Go for it, I dare you.

I read occasionally of CAD users who want to go to the cloud. I do not personally know any and all the ones I do know have no desire to be there. The only reason I can see for this continued barrage of deceit is that these cloud companies believe the idea that if you lie enough people will begin to believe it. There is truth to this and we have Obama as president as evidence this philosophy can work.

This cloud for CAD being touted primarily by Autodesk and Dassault for the CAD world is just as realistic as say Ford or Chrysler stating that by buying their product you are guaranteed good roads, no traffic jams or detours, and never any pesky wrecks. AND you won’t need any mechanics anymore either because it runs without you having to work on it.

There is only one big difference between the CAD and Auto company analogy above. ALL the roads in the CAD world will be toll roads.


The beauty of writing about cloud failures is the plethora of ammunition these cloud companies unwillingly supply through their sloppy implementations and reliance on an infrastructure that can’t be secure. Oh, and have I mentioned that they don’t truly securely c0ntrol any aspect of the data stream once it has left their own in house equipment. Inhouse cloud provider infrastructure security assumes that there is no compromise from within and we all know THAT can’t happen.

Posted on World Cad Access 4-11-12 and here for your amusement.

7 responses to “COFES 2012 Epic Cloud Failure, Dassault and Autodesk Buyers Beware!

  1. Dave, I just back from COFES 2012. During 3 days, I’ve been working with wifi internet connections and 3G/4G cell connections. I can confirm that Scottsdale Plaza has few wifi dead places in ballroom, but rather than that it was absolutely okay. It is highest possible speed internet connection I experienced, but a decent one you can expect in the hotel focusing on entertainment and golf :). I’ve been running inforbix ( demo in technology suite and in the hotel lobby during all these days and had zero failures. Just my opinion, YMMV.

  2. typo -> It is NOT the highest possible speed internet connection I experienced, but a decent one you can expect in the hotel focusing on entertainment and golf 🙂

    • Hi Oleg,
      Sorry but I have to discount your experience there. The fact remains that 13 years in with this event the tech support guys involved did not deliver and this is a microcosm of the real world users live in. In spite of the glowing words you have for the Cloud you can’t present me with one EULA that indemnifies users against web based problems. Guarantees the software will work in laboratory like cloistered conditions is scant comfort when we as users have to add in the web which the EULA’s will not cover. I can confirm that every CAD user I know has problems with the web and you cloud guys can’t fix it. Dassault has been sweating bullets over this for a few years now and have yet to deliver anything meaningful and why is this? Because the majority of the infrastructure is not reliable or secure and they don’t own it or control it. Just like all these other software companies and it is fraud as far as I am concerned to make promises that companies can’t and won’t stand behind. Show us the EULA’s as the proof is in the pudding and then show us a working reliable secure cloud ap for serious CAD creation. We have been waiting for three years now and not one company has delivered and you too have avoided providing proof of concept where cloud and CAD is concerned.

  3. R. Paul Waddington

    “Show us the EULA’s as the proof is in the pudding and then show us a working reliable secure cloud ap for serious CAD creation.”

    Dave in all my work in relation to the application of EULA it remains an area people simply do not want to engage as they should. “You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. Regarding EULA software users are just like horses; it matters not what is shown to them and any attempt to get them to apply some sensible thinking is just meet with incredably begine and stupid asnwers like – “there is nothing we can do” or “I don’t understand EULA” etc.
    In my view, and with a limited education, I do not find EULA hard to read. What I find difficult is getting the owners of EULA and their legal people to discuss or negotiate them. It is there failure to enter into dicussion that has made it possible to work with Autodesk software whilst at the same time very publicly forcing them to accept I do not accept any of their terms and conditions of use.
    Don’t know if you have be following the discussion in blog nauseam about AutoCAD’s failed help system but there has been a participant, an Autodesk employee, making comments and at one stage he mention EULA – to which I responded. His reply was a classic example of just how “stupid” I believe many in the industry are, he states;

    “* ALL of them are similar, and all of them sound like documents from a horror movie.
    * In our litigious society, lawsuits are commonplace, and companies want to protect themselves.
    * The terminology used is legalese with specific courtroom applications both in the U.S. and internationally.
    * Any company that takes abusive advantage of the terms is committing suicide.”

    A key component here is his comment “companies want to protect themselves.” Lost count of the number of time I have heard this comment used as a defense by Autodesk and others – and it is selfish crap! There is a recognition protection is needed but what all these guys are saying is it is ONLY they who should be protected from their customers. They want all the advantages of their position and consider all the risk, losses and problems they create must be borne ENTIERLY by their customers.

    His last comment is a classic – he has obviously not read or had his employers EULA explained to him and understood his statement is completely false!

    You are quite correct in pushing the point about producing a EULA to support the vendors’ claims. A EULA or contract accepting responsibility is the ONLY means left for software vendors’ management to regain any credibility.

    • Hi Paul, Yes none of these cloud guys are forthright. I get a big kick out of Oleg for instance. He is a tireless energizer rabbit for cloud and cad but he refuses to spell out details and provide concrete examples of success. I am amazed at the number of COFES attendees that want to sweep the failure of the cloud at their own venue under the carpet and then refuse to state clearly EULA terms, ROI, true cost of use and that most elusive thing—– proof of concept in real world conditions. But it is wonderful, just buy into it and once you are there they will tell you what is in it. Utter and total fraud and deceit.

  4. At COFES, there were some problems with the *hotel-provided* wi-fi access. It was not Cyon Research’s fault, and it was definitely not an “epic failure.”

    It had nothing to do with the reliability of the internet, or the cloud. It merely had to do with some weak wi-fi hot-spots.

    If anyone at COFES had problems getting online with wi-fi, there were at least 5 different 4G wireless networks available that would have gotten them online. Got a smartphone and a USB cable? You can get online.

    Flakey wi-fi at hotels is nothing new. Check out

    Claiming that flakey wi-fi can cause the cloud to fail is like saying a flakey mouse can cause AutoCAD to fail. It misses the point.

    • No, it was an epic failure of the worst kind. When Techsoft needed reliability it did not happen no matter what the excuse was. It was one that proves that no matter what cloud purveyors offer they can’t control what happens outside of a very narrow sphere of personal control. And truthfully this happened in what I assume was a highly controlled environment with a plethora of stated capabilities. I would think far more so than the average user who would have to rely on even more fragile infrastructure. It is proof positive that even though Cyon was not to blame technically the infrastructure they don’t own or control that they had to rely on shot them down. Just how do these cloud companies propose to make promises utilising infrastructure they neither own or control and then keep them? They can’t and the market knows it and this is why after struggling for years now it has gotten no where for serious things like CAD.

      This is the disconnect that is so prevalent between software companies, their cloud offerings and potential users. The cloud company sees this event as someone elses fault and it was not their fault. Users see that the software companies once again can’t control the size or the flow of the pipeline customers would have to use so all the grand promises are corporate PR fluff.

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