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InfoQ Homepage News Enhancing Engineering Design and Collaboration with Azure’s New Secure Simulation Workbench

Enhancing Engineering Design and Collaboration with Azure’s New Secure Simulation Workbench

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Microsoft recently launched the public preview of Azure Modeling and Simulation Workbench (MSWB). This fully-managed engineering environment enables secure user collaboration while protecting data and IP via multi-layered security and access control solutions.

The company brings the fully-managed PaaS solution because designing complex engineering systems such as silicon chips, aircraft engines, and autonomous systems or conducting oil drilling simulations requires extensive collaboration across disciplines and sharing sensitive data and IP, which presents significant security challenges. Traditional solutions to these challenges are often costly, labor-intensive, and customized.

Azure MSWB enables teams to quickly set up optimized infrastructure for engineering design and simulations in the cloud with scalable and archivable resources. It features secure workspaces, data protection measures like partitions and export controls, and collaborative tools for project teams, including traceable activities and secure data sharing. Advanced identity management ensures secure access, facilitating efficient design iterations, simulations, and tests, leading to quicker market entry, enhanced productivity, and superior product quality.

The Azure MSWB is a hub for various components, providing key services like computing, storage, and networking to enhance user workload performance.  A workbench combines Azure resources like virtual machines, storage, and databases in a secure environment, serving as a container for chambers that execute engineering tasks in isolation. It supports collaborative work on shared projects, with each chamber and connector managed by its own admin. This allows authorized users to customize components and services for their projects, including the option to delete high-performance VMs to reduce costs.

Create an Azure Modeling and Simulation Workbench (Source: Microsoft Learn)

James Li, Sr. director of BAE Systems’ Microelectronics organization, said in an Azure Government blog post:

The Azure Modeling and Simulation Workbench helped us meet our design tape-out dates by deploying a tailored cluster of hardware to accelerate our design simulations in hours. Normally, the addition of new hardware on-premises can take months. Access to Azure’s performant compute enabled three times faster runtimes, ultimately ensuring we met our aggressive schedule. Additionally, it enabled new third-party collaboration models which is challenging to do in an on-premise environment.

MSWB is currently available in the US East, US West 3, and US Gov Virginia Azure regions. The documentation landing page provides more details on the platform. The billing for MSWB is based on the usage of chambers, user packs, and storage units, with prices aggregated on an active daily rate until a chamber is put into an idle state or removed.

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