Secure collaboration with Altium on AWS
A forecast from International Data Corporate (IDC), a global market intelligence firm, predicts that by 2025 there will 55.9 billion connected devices, or “Internet of Things (IOT)”, worldwide. With these new devices, the need for Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design software will continue to grow.
However, just having the right tools in the hands of systems and design engineers is not enough. Secure, remote collaboration is becoming a necessity in today’s workforce especially where users need remote access for fast design changes without missing a beat. System and design engineers around the world are seeking higher levels of security and compliance while supporting and collaborating with their customers and supply chain partners.
Increasingly, these users have turned to AWS Cloud to develop and manage their most sensitive IP, including export-controlled and military applications. At Amazon, our support for customers in regulated industries, and in thousands of government agencies, means that we keep security as a top priority. As a result, the world’s top technology companies and their commercial and government customers trust AWS for their most sensitive design and engineering applications and have successfully adopted and leveraged the power and security of AWS Cloud — including Altium.
AWS and Altium 365
Altium 365 is a cloud-based infrastructure platform that connects all the key stakeholders and disciplines, from mechanical designers to parts procurement, to fabrication and assembly. In other words, Altium 365 connects electronics design to the manufacturing floor.
By partnering with AWS, Altium was able to simplify collaboration with the design process and extend and connect their value chain to a larger community of electronics and mechanical designers and manufacturers around the world, on-demand and at scale. Before Altium 365, circuit designers would collaborate with other designers and engineers using multiple design versions, different component libraries, and traditional file sharing methods that made the design process inefficient when working across geographically distributed teams. Furthermore, when a design template was ready for fabrication, it would be sent as large files, sometimes greater than 500MB, to the manufacturer who would review and comment on the template and often return it back to the designer for changes. This back and forth greatly reduced the speed to delivery.
With the introduction of Altium Concord Pro hosted on Altium 365 and running on AWS, customers can now have a dedicated, cloud-hosted Altium 365 Workspace to organize and store data, and collaborate with other designers and manufacturers all in one place that can be accessed on any device and from anywhere. All stakeholders are working from the same project, design versions, and component libraries in a common and structured process throughout the PCB lifecycle. In addition, Altium 365 cloud platform can be integrated with other Altium products such as Altium Designer, an interactive 3D PCB design software, and Altium Octopart, a real-time electronic design component search engine.
The need for a secured PCB design collaboration solution like Altium 365 is even more evident today when the demands on the biotech industry and remote work have never been greater. One example is MKS Instruments, a manufacturer of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical laboratory equipment, which relies on Altium 365 and AWS to operate and support their customers. Thanks to Altium 365, MKS Instruments can continue supporting its customers even while MKS Instruments staff work from home.
“Right now, being listed as a critical provider for things like DNA sequencing machines has made our work more critical than ever. With all of us working from home, Altium 365 has been a real godsend — the infrastructure has been fantastic.” Todd McFarland, Senior Electrical Designer at MKS Instruments.
The Altium 365 cloud platform is powered by various key AWS services.
App Streaming: Amazon AppStream 2.0 delivers Altium’s leading products from any compatible browser, making them broadly accessible to product design engineers who can then share their designs and collaborate with other designers, manufacturers, and suppliers around the world easily and securely. AppStream 2.0 is a fully managed application streaming service that allows organizations to centrally manage desktop-based applications and securely deliver them to any computer.
Storage: Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) securely stores sensitive design data of Altium’s users that can be versioned, encrypted, and shared at low costs. Amazon S3 offers industry-leading storage durability so customer data is available and protected against failures, errors, and threats.
Database and In-memory Data Store: Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and Amazon ElastiCache automate the time-consuming tasks of setting up, running, and managing databases (Amazon RDS) and in-memory data stores for Altium’s IT team. Amazon RDS and Amazon Elasticache alleviate IT from the undifferentiated, heavy lifting of database administration and managing data caches so that IT can focus their attention and resources on other areas such as security, operational excellence, and cost optimization.
Content Delivery Network (CDN): Amazon CloudFront brings Altium 365 content closer to its distributed users across the globe at a massive scale to reduce latency and improve user experience. CloudFront works seamlessly with AWS Shield and AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) to provide scalable, reliable, and high-performance boundary network and application protection against multiple types of attacks including network and application layer DDoS attacks.
DNS: Amazon Route 53 is a globally distributed and highly available DNS service that controls traffic flow to Altium 365 based on geo-proximity, latency, health, and other considerations. Using Route 53, Altium can easily leverage a global network of DNS servers at a series of world-wide locations to help ensure a highly available and scalable route for its users to its applications.
Cloud Infrastructure: AWS Global Cloud Infrastructure allows Altium to deploy Altium 365 to multiple regions (US, Europe, and Asia Pacific) and Availability Zones across the world, making Altium 365 more accessible to its global users. By building and running workloads on AWS, Altium utilizes custom-built infrastructure for the cloud that is secure enough to meet the most stringent security requirements including heavily regulated industries and military establishments.
AWS at AltiumLive 2020
AltiumLive 2020 is just around the corner! Be sure to register for three days (October 6-8, 2020) packed with free interactive electronics education and networking. Listen to live sessions, expert panels and Q&A with electronics industry experts, including David Pellerin, Head of Worldwide Business Development for Infotech/Semiconductor at AWS.
Tune into David’s session on Engineering Collaboration on AWS Cloud: Use-Cases at Amazon to learn how system and design engineers around the world use AWS for their most sensitive design and engineering applications and have successfully adopted and leveraged the power and security of AWS Cloud — including Altium.
If you want to hear more about this topic, you can also listen to the OnTrack podcast for more industry expert perspectives on topics like cloud security and secure collaboration.