Most of the time we talk about the benefit of cloud CAE. Seemingly infinite computing resources that are called on-demand to fit the size of your simulations is amazing. Today, I would like to discuss one of the lesser topics when simulation in the cloud is being considered: the topic of how to transfer large simulation files.
Cloud file transfer is a necessity when needing to take your model on a local machine and solve it in a public cloud, such as Microsoft Azure. Secure file transfer with encryption is a must for engineering teams, both initially and when downloading simulation results for archiving or delayed post-processing.
For ease-of-use and security, my weapon of choice is the Azure Storage Explorer. It has a familiar GUI that any Windows, macOS, or Linux user can pick up instantly and create a tunnel to their cloud HPC environment.
With regards to cloud file transfer speed, this will be highly dependent on where the data is currently, where it is going, and the internet connection at both ends. My recommendation is to use a multithreaded solution like the Azure Storage Explorer if you are going to host the CAE environment in Azure. This way, you can drag and drop files into the Azure Storage Explorer, and they instantly appear in the encrypted storage folder mounted to the cloud environment. Moving data within Azure happens at a tremendous speed because of their robust networking.
When running in the cloud, you can also use cloud agnostic storage tools like Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and Google Drive. At the end of the day, integrate the tools that will minimize headaches associated with this portion of the simulation workflow, allowing you to focus on running simulations.