I am just wondering what everyone's opinion is on where the best place to keep the local files is.
We started out using Revit MEP with all the files (central and locals) in the job folder on the server. I have heard lots of people talk about keeping the local files on the workstations and I have recently tried doing that. It seems to run a little smoother but maybe I am just seeing things.
What is everyone's take on this and what is the recommended approach?
Pros: Backed up copies of local files, less chance for corruption (?), easier to manage users files (user files can be deleted to ensure everyone has to start fresh).
Cons: Backed up copies of local files (they take up more space), possible lag communicating to server (Is this really an issue with Gig Net and fast servers?).
Pros: Faster access times, easier to get to your projects.
Cons: No backup (shouldn't be an issue if you save to central often), greater chance of local file get corrupted (?), harder to manager user files to ensure everyone is starting fresh.
One major advantage in having local files on the Local Machine is that on the extremely rare occasions that a central file may get corrupted (only once in 4 years of use) Having the Local files on local machines allows you to use the most up to date local file, to re-establish a central file. Other than this rare occurace, we make new local file every other day on the local machines.
That's a pretty cool script. I am envisioning some kind of project browser/tool for Revit that could do what this script does being very helpful in future releases. If this isn't on the wishlist, it should be.
The CAD manager could define how the central files should be named and where the local files should go and then every time you open a project (or add it to your list of projects), it would automatically create your local files and it could even prompt you to create new local files on a defined schedule or depending on how far out of date your local is.
I remember ABS having a project browser but I didn't do too much work with it to really get a feel for it.
I could definitely see a bonus to that. It adds a handy amount of redundancy to things.
I did some perusing of the AUGI forums for topics on this issue and although I did find many people mention keeping the local files local; I did not find a cut and dry answer saying anything like "Here is why you don't keep them on the server". I did find some mention from older versions of Revit about file corruption issues when saving over a network but I was having trouble finding a more updated answer. Is this still an issue and the reason to save local?
We have been saving the locals to the file server since day one and although we haven't had any major corruption issues, we have still have some slow STC times during our project deadlines when everyone is really grinding away. I have been testing saving local and it seems to be working well but it could just be me and I don't have any benchmark to really show the difference.
My short answer is that having the local file on your local machine/haard drive serves to improve save to local times. Consider a 100MB file (or whatever non-trivial size)... everytime you save to local (not central) it Revit (with assistance from the operating system) needs to to reconcile all that data over the network. Keeping it on your local machine eliminates the network latency related to save to local.
It is assumed that you save to local more frequently than STC, so why not make the process as quick as possible?
In large projects, I've also recommended that any link files also be on the local. Consider how often the linked file actually updates (perhaps an update once a week from the architect... of course depends on the phase/status of the project). If you have, say, a 100MB arch file and a 50mb struct file, and you have three separate users (M, E, P), when these three users start working each day, they're pulling 450MB (plus the MEP model) over the network, and this happens every time they open the model. If they copy the A and S files local first, a large amount of 'bytes' may be saved, potentially reducing network contention/bottle necks, etc. Of course, you'd have to be careful to make sure the always have an up-to-date copy of the A/S models, but this is relatively trivial task that can be automated.
Martin Schmid, P.E. Product Manager - Analysis and Countrification Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Autodesk, Inc.