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    Central File monitor

    We are having some hiccups where users will sometimes get a warning that the Central File is busy. The user will simply select an object to edit, and when Revit pings the Central File to see if that ObjectID is available it will throw a warning about being busy. We THINK it may be that the Volume Shadow Copy we use in conjunction with DFS Replication is holding a lock on the file for more than the microsecond it should.
    So I am hoping someone can suggest some software that would allow us to monitor the central files themselves, and see a real time trace of activity, and ideally what is accessing the file. I would expect to see a constant stream of little blips as Element Borrowing is happening, and larger blips as Reload Latest & Sync w/ Centrals happen. If we see a long access by VSC we know what to start troubleshooting.

    Any suggestions? And anyone seen this kind of behavior before?

    Thanks!
    Gordon
    Pragmatic Praxis

    #2
    Gordon, I´ve seen that exact behavior on a very similar network with DFS and VSC - Never got around to narrowing down the problem though... but a tool like you are suggesting would be very helpful. Hope you find it, or someone here can point you to it.

    :beer:
    Klaus Munkholm
    "Do. Or do not. There is no try."

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      #3
      Do you have this problem with 2012? I have gotten the same reports from some of my clients.
      Sander Obdeijn
      Support Engineer
      ITANNEX [Autodesk Gold Partner]

      Personal Mailadres:
      [email protected]

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        #4
        Have not rolled out 2012 yet. Hope to get the first users working today and tomorrow, and see how our solution for the concurrent roaming users problem works out, and go from there. But even after some much needed changes on the server side, we still see these popups way more often than we should, or used to.

        Gordon
        Pragmatic Praxis

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          #5
          We are looking into updating our infrastructure, we are a smaller firm with 2 offices, but pretty equally sized in each office, and we were looking at using DFS to replicate data so it is local for each office, i wasnt sure how Revit would handle that with a central file. Does it actually work, what are things we should be concerned about. Gordon you mentioned that you were going to see how 2012 worked out. Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

          Thanks,
          Jim

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            #6
            Jim,
            my sense at this point is that DFS-R was not designed for large files, and any use with Revit is just asking for trouble. We have it turned off now and our incidence of corrupted central files seems to have dropped substantially. However, we are into CA on just about everything right now so I am not totally sure of the cause and effect there.
            In any case, the user case you describe is exactly what Revit Server was designed to do. It may be worth exploring that option, as it does seem to work for people as long as you stay within the rather narrow use case Autodesk supports. And off-label uses like running a local server on Windows 7 seems to work as well.

            Gordon
            Pragmatic Praxis

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              #7
              I'd recommend using Revit Server for collaboration between multiple offices, and would steer away from DFS, Globalscape and other "mirroring" apps.

              RS works great, and it's made specifically for Revit. We do enable shadow copies on our Local Revit Servers, and occasionally have used Previous Versions
              to create new Central Files from, and put back on the Central Revit Server--no problems to report.
              Cliff B. Collins
              Registered Architect
              The Lamar Johnson Collaborative Architects, St. Louis, MO
              Autodesk Expert Elite

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                #8
                Gordon,
                I talked to a MEP guy the other day who experienced the same problem. With them, it was narrowed down to a simple case of bandwith limitations. Multiple users on the same model from different locations (up to 10-15 people at the same time). If multiple people were STC-ing and someone were to ping the central file in order to change an element they would get the same reaction. Pumped the network and the problem went away. They were using GlobalScape btw...
                Martijn de Riet
                Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
                MdR Advies
                Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

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                  #9
                  Martijn,
                  I can certainly see the issue manifesting in that case. In our case, we would see the problem on a 100MB file with only 3-4 people active, all on the local gigabit network. But it sure seemed like the problems cropped up at around the time that we had DFS-R set to replicate to the offsite server. We killed DFS-R for RVT files, and I don't think we have had a single issue since. I never found a monitoring tool to actually look at packets or access in real time or anything, but the circumstantial evidence certainly points to DFS-R being the problem.

                  Gordon
                  Pragmatic Praxis

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