Revit Architecture

Revit Architecture

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*Rusty Gesner
Message 1 of 5 (973 Views)

Revit, remote users, WAN, WAFS?

973 Views, 4 Replies
11-03-2005 02:41 PM
We're starting a trial project on Revit 8.1. It will all be done in our main
office, but for the future, the big concern I have is how to handle people
in multiple offices working on Revit across a WAN. I find little promising
information on this problem.

Is anyone successfully doing this? If so, how, and on how big of projects?

There are various WAFS and caching appliance and software-based solutions
which work very well for other apps, for example Steelhead from Riverbed,
the Tacit Networks appliance, and Availl software. I can't find any data on
how they'd work with Revit, except that Riverbed lists Revit as a Steelhead
supported app, but ZGF has Steelhead and they said it is too slow and that
their solution was using Remote Desktop to manipulate Revit on a PC in the
project's home office. I searched the forums and found nothing better than
this klunky Remote Desktop suggestion or Irwin's posting of a far too
convoluted and error-prone process for Revit 7.

We have dedicated P2P T1 lines connecting Portland to our Seattle and
Vancouver offices and are considering the Tacit Networks appliance or Availl
software. Both replicate files between home and remote sites, lock files at
the opposite location during editing, and synchronize the changes when files
are saved. This supposedly works well for most apps, but I think there may
be problems with Revit because of the large single file per project and the
database structure of the Revit file. I wonder if the locking and
synchronization work correctly when multiple users are editing only pieces
of it in the single file instead of individually working in files like they
do with AutoCAD's xref structure?

Is Autodesk actively working on any solution to this huge limitation for
multiple site customers?
Are they working with the leading WAFS providers to develop a solid,
high-performance and integrated solution?

This shouldn't impede our pilot project, but will definitely put the brakes
on wider deployment.

Rusty Gesner, IT/CAD Director
Group Mackenzie, Architecture, Interiors, Structural, Planning, Civil,
Traffic & Project Management
PORTLAND, OREGON | SEATTLE, WASHINGTON | VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON
*Paul Monsef
Message 2 of 5 (973 Views)

Re: Revit, remote users, WAN, WAFS?

11-04-2005 04:59 PM in reply to: *Rusty Gesner
I have no idea what "WAFS and caching appliance and software-based
solutions" refer to.. I just VPN into office from home and work away (i call
it our "Everett branch" to sound important!).

Using 'worksets' any number of people can work on the same file at the same
time (no matter where they are).

--
Paul Monsef
TSA architects, pllc

"Rusty Gesner" wrote in message
news:5003392@discussion.autodesk.com...
We're starting a trial project on Revit 8.1. It will all be done in our main
office, but for the future, the big concern I have is how to handle people
in multiple offices working on Revit across a WAN. I find little promising
information on this problem.

Is anyone successfully doing this? If so, how, and on how big of projects?

There are various WAFS and caching appliance and software-based solutions
which work very well for other apps, for example Steelhead from Riverbed,
the Tacit Networks appliance, and Availl software. I can't find any data on
how they'd work with Revit, except that Riverbed lists Revit as a Steelhead
supported app, but ZGF has Steelhead and they said it is too slow and that
their solution was using Remote Desktop to manipulate Revit on a PC in the
project's home office. I searched the forums and found nothing better than
this klunky Remote Desktop suggestion or Irwin's posting of a far too
convoluted and error-prone process for Revit 7.

We have dedicated P2P T1 lines connecting Portland to our Seattle and
Vancouver offices and are considering the Tacit Networks appliance or Availl
software. Both replicate files between home and remote sites, lock files at
the opposite location during editing, and synchronize the changes when files
are saved. This supposedly works well for most apps, but I think there may
be problems with Revit because of the large single file per project and the
database structure of the Revit file. I wonder if the locking and
synchronization work correctly when multiple users are editing only pieces
of it in the single file instead of individually working in files like they
do with AutoCAD's xref structure?

Is Autodesk actively working on any solution to this huge limitation for
multiple site customers?
Are they working with the leading WAFS providers to develop a solid,
high-performance and integrated solution?

This shouldn't impede our pilot project, but will definitely put the brakes
on wider deployment.

Rusty Gesner, IT/CAD Director
Group Mackenzie, Architecture, Interiors, Structural, Planning, Civil,
Traffic & Project Management
PORTLAND, OREGON | SEATTLE, WASHINGTON | VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON
*Rusty Gesner
Message 3 of 5 (973 Views)

Re: Revit, remote users, WAN, WAFS?

11-11-2005 11:56 PM in reply to: *Rusty Gesner
WAFS means Wide-Area File Services: Appliances or software that allow
centralization of file services by optimizing connectivity to remote-office
clients over a wide-area network. WAFS systems overcome bandwidth and
latency limitations through a combination of caching, protocol optimization,
compression and other techniques. Wide-area file services attempt to provide
access to files over a WAN as quickly as if they were stored locally. To do
this, WAFS products must reduce latency and optimize the use of limited
bandwidth. Products typically use a combination of local caching, data
compression and optimization of higher level protocols such as CIFS to
minimize the number of message exchanges required to open or save a file.
Over our dedicated point-to-point T1 line, it takes about 70 seconds for our
remote office to open or save to central over the WAN a sample project file
which only takes 6 or 7 seconds to save in the home office over the LAN. A
WAFS solution potentially improves the remote saves.
New Member
Mark Schlicher
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-19-2006
Message 4 of 5 (973 Views)

Re: Revit, remote users, WAN, WAFS?

09-19-2006 10:36 AM in reply to: *Rusty Gesner
Rusty,

I'm actually a Riverbed authorized reseller and would suggest you might take advantage of Riverbed's 30 day try and buy program. The devices could be dropped into your network environment so you could see for yourself, in your environment, how well these work. If I can assist, please let me know.
Mark
Active Member
dore
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎03-28-2002
Message 5 of 5 (943 Views)

Re: Revit, remote users, WAN, WAFS?

08-03-2010 11:00 AM in reply to: *Rusty Gesner

Reading this with great interest....

 

Our firm has two offices about 250 miles apart. We have 2 T1 lines between offices, with Riverbed Steelheads.  Our Revit 2010 files we're using between offices are about 140 gig each.  It takes our remote office about 30-45 minutes to open the files, so we're suspecting that there's something wrong with our server, connection, or steelheads.  With a 3 gig (2)T1 pipeline, with Steelheads, how long should file opening take?

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