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Precipitating Out of the Cloud

Today we took a look at Vector Fabric’s new Pareon tool for parallelizing embedded code, and one of the things that makes it different from their prior tools is that they are no longer offering it in the cloud.

Vector Fabrics was one of the earlier tool vendors to make use of the cloud. Unlike some companies, they used the cloud as their only delivery mechanism. The entire tool GUI was a FLEX application executing in a browser.

But with Pareon, they’ve decided to revert to a more traditional delivery model (while keeping the GUI as is). And this is where you might automatically think, “Aha! See? No one wants to upload their crown jewels to the cloud!”

Well, there is still an element of that going on: some companies do indeed still have an issue with security. But the main drivers of their decision actually have nothing to do with that, and are very specific to their particular situation.

The biggest issue related to having libraries available in the cloud. It’s easy to analyze code in isolation if it doesn’t use any library calls. Not much code really works that way, however, meaning that, in addition to uploading your own program, you would need to upload libraries as well. This was a pain.

In order to minimize that, some people would isolate parts of their program for uploading to minimize their library call exposure. This was also a tough problem.

Things got even tougher when trying to support C++ because there are so many libraries. So, bringing things out of the cloud eliminates the issue entirely. It’s probably fair to say that the decision made it practical for them to claim support for C++.

The other issue that contributed was the simple fact that none of the other tools in the design environment were in the cloud. So there was this one piece of the tool chain in the cloud, outside the IDE; that can be a harder sell.

They do still see value having it in the cloud for things like training, for example, but, for mainstream use, Pareon will be executing locally, within users’ IDE.

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