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Thread: Revit Hardware : General

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by iru69 View Post
    Are you using work sharing (i.e. work sets)? If so, how many users do you have working on a model at any given time?
    Should start with we are Architects, we use work-sharing on every project for the flexibility to throw staff at a job and quality control inspection, but most jobs are 1-2 persons.

    Quote Originally Posted by iru69 View Post
    How many Revit users are active on your network at any given time?
    We have 6 licenses, four of which are "every day" one's the intern who floats around, and one's at a satellite office in another state.

    Quote Originally Posted by iru69 View Post
    You seem to indicate you're currently using a NAS - may I ask which one you're using and what RAID configuration?
    NAS is a D-Link ShareCenter DNS 320, 2TB. It is RAID arrayed, but I'm not sure how to find out which configuration. D-Link's site says "0/1". Our network IT person holds the passwords for configuring it, and he's been very busy, so I'm doing my research separately. My responsibilities are primarily for Revit implementation, but this issue is somewhere between Revit configuration and network storage.

    Quote Originally Posted by iru69 View Post
    I would assume the network is completely 1Gb ethernet - no old 100Mb hubs/switches in-between the workstations and the NAS?
    Entire system is Gigabit. The only bottleneck I can see might be the connection between here and our satellite office which mirrors changes from our NAS to theirs and vice versa every night via a small app, however, I can't see how that would affect the corruption of the locally saved Central.

    I should note that I've eliminated the possibility of internal network bottleneck as I re-saved one of the large central files to our "old" server (which is just a print server now) and tested connectivity with no issues, but as soon as I tried the same on the NAS, "failed to save" "file is corrupt" etc.

  2. #22
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Hi Klibersat,

    The problem appears to be your NAS, not NAS devices in general. I don't have personal experience with the D-Link ShareCenter DNS 320, but a quick at specs and some reviews indicates it's not really meant as an "office" NAS device - it looks primarily intended as a single-user (or family) backup device. I'd hope it's configured as a RAID 1 (which mirrors the data between drives) rather than a RAID 0 (which stripes them). The corruptions issues could be bad firmware, etc. The first thing I would do is check to see if there are any firmware updates.

    You certainly do not need the expense and complexity of a dedicated Windows server or SAN devices for such a small office. If you want to replace the D-Link with a more appropriate NAS device, I would suggest looking at the mid-range Synology products, e.g. the DS713+ (I'm personally familiar with that one). It's considerably more robust than your current D-Link device.

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    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    I'll also add that we went through a couple dedicated Windows file servers over a ten year period before getting the Synology 713+ NAS, and I was really concerned that it wouldn't be as robust as a dedicated Windows server, but it actually turned out to perform even better with the right model and hard drives.

    The administrative headaches are way less with the NAS - it's made everything easier. I'm all in on them.

    My only caution would be with Apple Macs (i.e. OS X specifically) - while they work fine with a NAS, I've found performance to be a little spotty in my limited experience. Honestly, I don't know if there's similar issues with Windows servers... whether it has something to do with the linux smb implementation in most NAS, or something on the OS X side.
    Last edited by iru69; August 27th, 2014 at 09:13 PM.

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    I will give an 2nd mention for Synology. I run a personal 8TB RAID5 at home on the DS413j (discontinued model) closest match would be the https://www.synology.com/en-global/p...overview/DS414. It is the center of my home media sever. I tend to be a heavy user with my home network and would classify my home network setup up there with a 5 person office. My Synology is rock solid and very user friendly. I am never left wanting with file transfer speeds or compatibility with Windoze or OSX.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iru69 View Post
    I was really concerned that it wouldn't be as robust as a dedicated Windows server, but it actually turned out to perform even better with the right model and hard drives.

    The administrative headaches are way less with the NAS - it's made everything easier. I'm all in on them.
    I share those concerns, also love the administrative streamline. My concern is primarily with the speed of information processing. Workshared Revit models are streaming updates to and from the storage device all the time. Servers come with incredibly powerful processors and would seem to me, more adept to speeding up those transactions throughout the day. Of course, my only experience is coming on a NAS that is NOT living up to the task, so my concerns get magnified. We've also had issues with running QuickBooks on NAS... I feel this is likely a database or multi-user issue.

    I can run non-workshared Revit files on the NAS with no issues. I can assume that all of you are already doing this, however, if someone out there can confirm for me that their NAS is running multi-user work-shared Revit models that are exceeding 100Mb in size on a regular basis, I'd feel a bit better about spending money on another, different, NAS... as of now, I'm stuck in the position of "well, it worked on the server and doesn't work on the NAS."

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    Again, I had those same concerns. Actually, the CPU in a typical Windows server is less than a typical Revit workstation. File handling does not take that much CPU cycles. Servers that need top-end CPUs are generally hosting services such as Exchange or web servers that are processing thousands of simultaneous requests. That being said, the DS713+ has a dual core Intel Atom @ 2.13GHz, which is plenty for file serving. I just did a test where I had two users simultaneously Sync with Central on a 120MB project file while I monitored CPU usage on our NAS - CPU usage peaked from about 25%* to about 30% with one user syncing and about 35% with two users syncing.

    I did a network speed test and got consistent sustained transfer speeds of 80-100MB/s for both read and write operations, which is quite fast. For Revit usage, the Revit workstation is going to be the bottleneck, not the NAS.

    A NAS like the DS713+ is technically rated for up to 200 users, though that's obviously stretching it (and would overwhelm it if they were all Revit users). But that gives you some idea that 10-20 Revit users shouldn't be a problem.

    BTW, we also run Quickbooks off the NAS - no problems that we're aware of.

    Obviously I can't guarantee you results, but with the right NAS, performance shouldn't be an issue.

    However, we can talk Windows servers as well if you want... let us know if you have any specific questions about that.

    *Edit: NAS idles at around 1%, so there was quite a bit of other activity on the NAS (~25%) - at the same time as my sync test (which increased it from 25% to 30-35% CPU usage).

    p.s. - as soon as I posted this, I see this thread... but honestly, you can find users having problems with *any* type of server.
    Last edited by iru69; August 28th, 2014 at 10:52 PM.

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    Thanks!!!... I think I've found my issue:

    Quote Originally Posted by iru69 View Post
    I did a network speed test and got consistent sustained transfer speeds of 80-100MB/s for both read and write operations, which is quite fast. For Revit usage, the Revit workstation is going to be the bottleneck, not the NAS.
    A Forum on D-Link support ran some read/write tests and were getting MUCH slower transfer rates. In the range of 20-27 MB/sec. That's barely better than a 100MBps router plugging up the works.

    DNS-320 Example Speeds

    Better quality NAS is the answer, no real need for a file server. You just saved me at least $5000.00 Thanks Again!

  8. #28
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    Hi Biaadm, can you clarify what you mean by "speed issues"? Slow when opening files? When syncing to central? What size projects and what sort of time are we talking about here?

    While I would recommend SSD's for the workstations, you will likely not see any significant performance benefits by putting SSD's into the Drobo, and they certainly aren't necessary for good NAS performance.

    I know Drobo's are notoriously slow (though I think the newest models have greatly improved). 90Mbps obviously sucks, though that sounds like it might be limited by your wireless network. 180Mbps reads is pretty awful as well... which makes it even weirder that you'd be getting 750Mbps writes.

    Also, OS X also is notoriously bad with the SMB protocol (does translation from OS X's file system to the linux file system used by the Drobo). But I've also read that OS X has problems with the AFP protocol that is often used with the Drobo. If this is a problem in your VM's, you might want to do a little research on that as well. If this is a problem in BC, then probably doesn't have much to do with that (since BC would be using Windows natively for networking).

  9. #29
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    Ill just drop my 2 cents here... the 22MB/s seems like your are connected over a 100Mbs LAN. It may just be a coincidence that I see the same speeds on my older PC at home but I get 22MB/s and it is capped at 100Mbs LAN.

  10. #30
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    Hi Biaadm,

    Honestly, this sounds beyond a Revit problem or simple troubleshooting - you might have better luck on the Drobo support forums. Sorry can't be of more help... Good luck!

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