What is Autodesk Cloud? #
AutoDesk has been on an uncompromising drive to discontinue all perpetual licensing and move its customer base to subscription licenses. In their own words:-
“As of January 2016, Autodesk stopped selling new perpetual licenses. In May 2017, we stopped selling maintenance plans”.
Adding to the confusion, previous products and product bundles have either been discontinued or reconfigured into a new product. This can make the correct management of an Autodesk relationship very complex. Take, for instance, Autodesk Cloud. With other vendors, a cloud subscription is a straightforward alternative to an on-premise solution. While Autodesk does have cloud solutions for Building and construction, like BIM 360, and Manufacturing, like Fusion 360, some of their cloud offerings are additional products that require an existing subscription or maintenance agreement for related products to be in place before one can acquire the product. For example, Autodesk Rendering is
“Available only to subscribers and maintenance plan customers of select Autodesk software”
What adds to the complexity is that to use Autodesk Rendering, you also need Cloud Credits. For an individual or a small business, cloud credits are fairly easy to manage. For a larger organization, more administration has to be done to manage the cloud credits and assign entitlement to the appropriate users.
As of July 2019, the following Autodesk Cloud products are available:-
- Collaboration Products – AutoCAD Mobile App and Recap (Reality Capture) Pro
- Building and Construction – BIM 360, Formit (sketcher), and plug-in Insight (building performance analysis)
- Product Design and Manufacturing – Fusion 360, Fusion Team and Fusion Lifecycle, as well as Configurator 360
- Autodesk Rendering is available to AutoCAD, Revit, and other product users who use rendering in their organizations, such as AEC and manufacturing customers.
However, this list changes quite rapidly. A new addition to the list is Character Generator, for Media and Entertainment customers with an existing Autodesk subscription to associated software Maya and/or 3ds Max.
To work in the cloud, Autodesk also provides a cloud platform, Autodesk 360 or A360.
OpenLM provides the following functionality for monitoring Autodesk Cloud Licenses:-
- Denials Reporting No
- Report resolution By Minute
- Borrowed License reporting Not applicable
- Expiration Date reporting Yes
- Multiple Server Redundancy Support Not applicable
- Token License Support Yes
What are Cloud Credits from Autodesk?
Cloud credits are a form of consumption token used to “pay” for some of Autodesk’s cloud services, rather like, but different from Token-Flex tokens. Cloud credits are provided on purchase of some Autodesk products, such as Revit, or are purchased directly or as a top-up from the Autodesk Store. All cloud credits are not the same however; the credits you get with your software purchase are known as “starter” cloud credits, while those purchased from the store are “purchased” credits. 100 starter credits are a “gift” from Autodesk (their words) and are non-transferable, only to be used by the named user, while purchased credits can be shared.
A cloud credit has a maximum 12-month lifespan, after which it expires, but all credits expire when the current contract expires, so care must be taken when topping up.