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Setting Up A Collaboration Network

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Message 1 of 7
Anonymous
773 Views, 6 Replies

Setting Up A Collaboration Network

Hello,

 

We are currently trying / wanting to set up a network shared system (Much like A360), in which our consultants can access our server and open / modify the model from other states/countries.  Our current server has the following specifications:

 
Host server:
- Processor type 1x Xeon E3-1220-v3
- Processor core/clock speed 4 core, 3.1/3.5GHz

- Processor memory 8GB ECC VLM UDIMM DDR3 1600MHz, (1 X 8)

- Processor cache 15MB 8MB

- Hard disk 1x 1.5TB drives

 

Will this setup be enough to allow for Revit Collaboration as I know first hand that a connection between the central file and local file must be maintained at all times? 

 

Furthermore, does Autodesk release what kind of server system they have for their A360?  Just curious how they maintain / keep backups, files, and constant internet connection between so many units at once.  Thank you for your help and info!

6 REPLIES 6
Message 2 of 7
DarrenP
in reply to: Anonymous

collaboration for revit is hosted and controlled by autodesk this not something they sell to use on your network datacenter

i believe the back end they are using is Amazon

DarrenP
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Message 3 of 7
SteveKStafford
in reply to: Anonymous

Your question suggests to me that you might not be the IT person, or that's not your full time role/profession? If so then you owe it to yourself and the firm to engage someone with both relevant network design experience AND supporting Revit. If you can't find that person then find the best IT person you can and bring them up to speed with Revit's challenges for networking data.

 

Your server is but one piece in a much larger puzzle for what you've described so far. The quality of the internet connection at each firm and each office will have a major impact on the team, quite likely even more so than if the server was a bit undersized. The worst connection of the group will affect the whole group at least as far as Revit project files are concern.

 

The number of active users will factor in too. For example, if you are considering using Virtual Machines (VM's) to provide workstations hosted by the server, to let other users log in and access the project data directly, then the number of VM's that the server will truly support may be as few as 2 or as many as 8. The server specs matter a lot more for that than just making data available.

 

I am assuming this is motivated by sharing Revit project files so you'll have to implement Revit Server to manage permissions. This requires having Accelerator servers in each office with one server (yours) acting as the Host. Again, it isn't just your server that needs to be considered. It's the whole wide area network you need to let everyone access the project data.

 

It will be easier to do if you aren't trying to allow concurrent access to Revit files by multiple offices. If not then you may be able to get by with Dropbox or other service to host files people need ready access to. Those servics are not suitable to Revit file sharing/access in any way however. They are fine for posting files for printing, using as backgrounds or posting archives/submissions.

 

Keep in mind that there are IT focused companies (Autodesk, Panzura, Nasuni, Advance 2000 and others) dealing with making this sort of technology available to firms for a reason. There is no room for pretty good when it HAS to WORK ALL the time. Pretty good usually ends in tears.

 

My other older self here: http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/46056
Message 4 of 7
Anonymous
in reply to: SteveKStafford

Mr. Stafford, You are in-fact correct: I am not an IT specialist but am an avid user of Revit. I have been using it for 8 years, so I completely agree and understand the consequences of using a "Pretty good" system. As we are developing our own system, we are just working on trying to ensure no miscommunication between the central file and local files gets disconnected as it will result in a corruption or inability to synchronize further changes leading to issues later on. I am curious how Autodesk is dealing with countries like India and Singapore, etc, as these countries do not have stable or a very sufficient internet connection. As I teach Autodesk Revit to my sutdents, I always let them know that Autodesk is bound by today's technology and in a lot of ways contrained to many hardware developers as even when we cut through "Brick material", we do not see the brick pattern. The amount of data and processing power for the program of Revit to get to its full potential, seems to be an technology cliffhanger. We work with Xeon Processors and +16 GB's of Ram with a solid internet connection but fear our consultants may not be working on such a sufficient platform. Do you have any recommendations for us going forward? Or really just spend/make the investment into solid hardware to reduce risk of error? Thank you both for your help! = )
Message 5 of 7
Anonymous
in reply to: DarrenP

Darren, Thank you for the input! We are planning on using a web server system from GoDaddy's Platform similar to Amazon. I know in 2012, an Article came out regarding using dropbox (http://therevitkid.blogspot.com/2012/01/using-dropbox-as-revit-server-free.html) as a methodology for Central file locations, but still to this day fear the potential "hickup" or file access that may occur if two people are using the same element at the same time. I personally would love to know what Autodesk is using in regards to processors, ram, bandwidth and harddrives so that these "hickups" do not occur. I figured that Autodesk would of course not sell us the networking capabilities to extend to our own company, but was rather curious what server system setup they utilize since A360 deals with +500 mb files, over hundreds of miles, to multiple users X thousands of potential users. Servers: https://www.godaddy.com/pro/dedicated-server Thank you, Kevin
Message 6 of 7
DarrenP
in reply to: Anonymous


@Anonymous wrote:
We work with Xeon Processors and +16 GB's of Ram with a solid internet connection but fear our consultants may not be working on such a sufficient platform. Do you have any recommendations for us going forward? Or really just spend/make the investment into solid hardware to reduce risk of error? Thank you both for your help! = )

i can't say really since you have no control over your consultants hardware/network setup all you can really hope is that they have someone on staff that can evaluate their hardware/network and figure out what needs to be upgraded

you may want to looking into investing in WAN accelerators like Riverbed

DarrenP
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Message 7 of 7
SteveKStafford
in reply to: Anonymous

I doubt Autodesk will share too many details or specifics about their unique implementation to provide A360 and Colloboration for Revit, except in the context of a sales conversation, where they are providing details to convince you to buy. I believe they are using Amazon's EC2 services. You can review the details they share HERE.

 

Simply hosting data on a server like Godaddy's is the easiest part of the equation. Getting it to ensure the permissions data related to worksharing is propagated properly, to avoid the pain of not being able to synchronize, is the secret sauce that Autodesk and other companies are selling because they've worked it out.

 

If your firm doesn't have a full time IT professional helping pull this off...I wish you the best. I hope it doesn't end in tears for you all.

My other older self here: http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/46056

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