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Valued Mentor
mdhutchinson
Posts: 2,321
Registered: ‎11-18-2003
Message 1 of 12 (2,018 Views)

Sharing AutoCAD Work between locations.

2018 Views, 11 Replies
05-15-2012 11:01 AM

What options are out there for sharing CAD Work between locations?

 

The big issue for us is that we have Job servers in multiple locations... More and more as time progresses... We are sharing work back and forth.

 

Surely there is a better alternative then simply good management practices... i.e.. Copying revised drawing files / updated backgrounds back and forth.

Currently, drives are accessible to both locations... But there is no way to work these files over our WAN with any kind of performance. Working on DWG files across this is extremely slow. I would think that most of you would agree.

 

What are others doing?

What is needed from a technology / cost standpoint to assure file are kept in sync by means other than shear manual moving / copying files?

Something called 'Virtual Desktop'... is this an option?... can Autodesk software run / licensed in this evironment?

*Expert Elite*
TravisNave
Posts: 10,747
Registered: ‎01-14-2005
Message 2 of 12 (2,005 Views)

Re: Sharing AutoCAD Work between locations.

05-16-2012 09:42 AM in reply to: mdhutchinson

It's called Autodesk Vault.  The files are stored as a change database in a central location and checked out to the user who is working on them.  The files are used locally and not on the network.  Then the files are checked back in.  This prevents work from being overwritten and yet still allows other users to access the latest changes to the files read-only.  You should consider this.

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JGerth
Posts: 2,226
Registered: ‎12-05-2005
Message 3 of 12 (1,967 Views)

Re: Sharing AutoCAD Work between locations.

05-21-2012 05:23 AM in reply to: mdhutchinson

Hqave you investigated Riverbed appliances for your locations?  That's one of the better ways to improve performance of editing/tansferring files across a WAN.  Basically a Riverbed only moves changed bits across the wire, so total data transfer is reduced, 

 

It may also be helpful ton investigate EDMS options -- Vault is one, albeit one of the lesser implementations - although if you are an Inventor shop, Vault is probably worth exploring  Adept from Synergis Software is generally well regarded as a CAD-capable EDMS, and there are other vendors in that market space as well.

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rkmcswain
Posts: 3,647
Registered: ‎11-13-2006
Message 4 of 12 (1,941 Views)

Re: Sharing AutoCAD Work between locations.

05-22-2012 02:46 PM in reply to: JGerth

JGerth wrote:

Hqave you investigated Riverbed appliances for your locations?  That's one of the better ways to improve performance of editing/tansferring files across a WAN.  Basically a Riverbed only moves changed bits across the wire, so total data transfer is reduced,


Another vote for Riverbeds here. 

Valued Mentor
mdhutchinson
Posts: 2,321
Registered: ‎11-18-2003
Message 5 of 12 (1,841 Views)

Re: Sharing AutoCAD Work between locations.

07-23-2012 08:50 AM in reply to: rkmcswain

We are investigating Riverbed and are gearing up for a trial.

I think that Riverbed introduces de-duplication on it's own... is this not the case?

What I understand of the term 'de-duplication' is that once the file has been replicated... later updates to the file are that only changed bits get copied across. Isn't  this correct?

 

Asside from all the Project Management tools / functionality, What does Autodesk Vault bring to the table that Riverbed replication / de-duplication does not?

 

 

 

 

 

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TravisNave
Posts: 10,747
Registered: ‎01-14-2005
Message 6 of 12 (1,834 Views)

Re: Sharing AutoCAD Work between locations.

07-23-2012 10:13 AM in reply to: mdhutchinson

We had 0 success with Riverbed testing here between offices.  Vault is essentially the same idea as Microsoft Visual Source Safe, if you know what that is.  Basically, it is SQL server database of all of your drawings (and subsequent changes) that are checked out to an individual user to work locally on his system and then checked back into the Vault when completed.  The benefit is that no work can be overwritten, all work is local and not over the WAN, and that if a change is made that is bad, you can revert to a previous version.  You can also use that previous version to make additional derivatives of the part for new part changes.  It also allows for the other users to continue to view the existing part database current versions even if a part is checked out.  Vault is an Autodesk product that is built into the suite.  You can implement it right now.  And because it is a SQL server, all of your data can be safely and easily backed up in the event of catastrophic failure. 

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JGerth
Posts: 2,226
Registered: ‎12-05-2005
Message 7 of 12 (1,821 Views)

Re: Sharing AutoCAD Work between locations.

07-24-2012 08:16 AM in reply to: TravisNave

Interesting -- we've had pretty good results with Riverbeds -- and I've often worked on files in remote offices.  slower than local server access, but not intolerable.  After initial opening on a new file, it's been quite resonable for response time.   Not as fast as a local server, slower than local disk, and certainkynot up to SSD speed, but quite usable.

 

To be fair, I've not played with the latest Vault gneration, but prior to 2013 I found it to be a pretty poor 'dwg manager' -- at least for AEC type work.  Might be considerably more usable in the mfg widgets world, (after all, that's where it came from) but for my work, it was worth considerably less than the cost of licenseing ($0.00).

 

One gets what one pays for, but Vault was so poorly thought out for AEC wok that it was a mess IMHO - YMMV.  Heck, the old 1996 era WorkCenter worked better for AEC.   And I don't see any information that would lead me to think that Vault would improve remote office performance or response time.

 

Distinguished Contributor
Hammer.john.j
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎05-06-2008
Message 8 of 12 (1,681 Views)

Re: Sharing AutoCAD Work between locations.

09-21-2012 05:38 AM in reply to: mdhutchinson

We use globalscapes avail agent for wafs replication, i strongly recommend it.  We tested riverbeds and found the avail agent to work better.

John Hammer, LA
Dell Precision T3500 - Xenon W3550 @ 3.07 (4 core)
Ram @ 12Gb
64bit Win7 Pro
Samsung SSD
NVIDIA Quadro 2000 - Dual Monitors
Cat 6 network with GlobalScape Avail Agent - WAFS
Infrastructure Design Suite Premium and Civil 3D 2012 & 2014
Valued Mentor
mdhutchinson
Posts: 2,321
Registered: ‎11-18-2003
Message 9 of 12 (1,099 Views)

Re: Sharing AutoCAD Work between locations.

04-03-2013 11:25 PM in reply to: Hammer.john.j

We are now in trial mode. Started with Peersync Collaboration 15 day trial. Now on Globalscape 30 day Trial. So far Globalscape is winner hands down.

Anyone else have an oppinion?

Distinguished Contributor
Hammer.john.j
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎05-06-2008
Message 10 of 12 (991 Views)

Re: Sharing AutoCAD Work between locations.

04-23-2013 01:33 PM in reply to: mdhutchinson

What version of globalscape's avail agent are you on, version 2?  they recently released an upgrade that we've implemented....

 

there is a boat load of optimization that is required on your servers, etc. to make this work effeciently and i STRONGLY recommend you have an I.T. Network Engineer and a Designer with exceptional familiarity with the product...  I understand you can deal directly with support at globalscape... USE IT!!!

 

how's it working for you?  whats your setup?  how many offices?

John Hammer, LA
Dell Precision T3500 - Xenon W3550 @ 3.07 (4 core)
Ram @ 12Gb
64bit Win7 Pro
Samsung SSD
NVIDIA Quadro 2000 - Dual Monitors
Cat 6 network with GlobalScape Avail Agent - WAFS
Infrastructure Design Suite Premium and Civil 3D 2012 & 2014
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