Monday, September 27, 2010

Autodesk Blogger Day: Revit Server

So, I've had to sit on this for quite some time!!

Autodesk is releasing a product for subscriptions customers called Revit Server. This is an internally run software solution for sharing Revit Central Files across a Wide Area Network (WAN).


This is not a "cloud" solution, rather it is meant to be installed on your servers within your firm. We have been working with this software for some time at Burt Hill and the feedback and experience has been exceptionally positive. There are some limitations since it is Version 1, but for the first time I can truly say we have feasible, solution sourced from Autodesk that allows our different offices to collaborate together on projects.

I can also finally admit that my AUv course "Virtually" There: Using Revit with Geographically Dispersed Teams: AB22-1R" is intended to primarily focus on Revit Server, implementing it, and our experience using it on a real project team involving multiple offices and an external consultant.

4 comments:

Matt said...

Hi Robert, great potential!
However, given one of the tech requirements is NOT to have win2008 R2 installed ... How should practices roll-back their server from R2?

;-)

Revit Server 2011
Systems hosting Revit Server 2011 must have:

Microsoft Windows Server® 2008, 64 bit (not 2008 R2)

Microsoft IIS 7.0

Microsoft .NET 3.5 SP1

Robert said...

Matt,

There are a couple of things to keep in mind.

1) Autodesk does not officially support R2 because they have not had the time and ability to test on R2. Now you might say, well why has ADSK not done that testing yet, and all I can say is, there is alot to do, and this is only Version 1. I believe though that it is a high priority for them to address R2 and Virtualization. Lastly I keep asking why not allow (though perhaps not support) installation on Win7.

2) Autodesk will say do not install Rvt Server on a high traffic server, for instance your Exchange Server. RS is happy to consume bandwidth on your NIC, and there is some CPU load as well as regular disk access (very little RAM load). Outside of a SAN configuration and multiple NIC's I would be inclined to put RS on its own box for now. If you look at the base hardware requirements for RS right now they are really quite low. You're not talking about it requiring a $30,000 Blade Server. Secondly because this is version 1, no one had a good picture of what the requirements really look like for 50 projects, 100, 50 users, 150, 300, etc.

3) As a separate box RS can really stand-alone, generally apart from the rest of your domain. For instance all of our servers are still WinS '03, while obviously we are also running the Revit servers with 2008 concurrently.

HTH,
-R

David Metcalf said...

Aww, no virtualization? IT folks are going to throw a fit. That was a great write up thanks for sharing.

David

Robert said...

David,

Similar to R2 Virtualization is not supported because it has not been tested. I think that virtualization is actually quite reasonable, particularly if you want to do some basic testing and familiarization of RS. However in production you really need to monitor system resources and available bandwidth, both of which are "shared" when you start dealing with virtual machines. If you do decide to use VM servers for testing, your Eye-Tee folks should be comfortable and familiar with IIS and properly configuring the VM's too allow the network traffic through to the VM server and Rvt Server. Obviously ADSK will not be able (or willing) to provide direct support attempting to get RS running in a VM environment.