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Thread: Server Woes. . .

  1. #1
    All AUGI, all the time TerribleTim's Avatar
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    Default Server Woes. . .

    Ok, I'm posting this here in the hopes that someone else has seen this problem. I'm not sure this is the right forum, but it is CAD Management related, so here goes . . .

    We recently expanded to several users across two offices. All of our files are on a server in the main office. We use the SSM for all our projects. The SSM file resides on that server in the main office. When my users in the secondary office work in AutoCAD, there is huge lag after any input at all. Even trying to draw a line means you start the command, wait for it to "think" for a few minutes, give it the start point, wait for it to "think" again for a few minutes, give it the end point, wait for it to "think" again for a few minutes and so on. When I say "for a few minutes", I really mean a few minutes. It isn't just a few seconds that feel like minutes, it really is minutes.

    Has anyone else seen this? How do you guys who work at firms spanning multiple offices deal with this? Do you keep files on a server at each local office or are they all in one place?

    We are using AutoCAD 2010 & 2011 in both offices. Mostly 2010, but a couple 2011 for evaluation purposes before rollout. It seems worse in 2011. The network is the standard stuff, Raid6, T1. It's all good hardware, where did we go wrong?

  2. #2
    Administrator rkmcswain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Server Woes. . .

    AutoCAD (through Windows) will always search for something that it thinks it is 'missing'.
    If you load up a remote drawing, then pull the network cable, does the delay still occur?

    I doubt that the delay is a result of network speed, but rather a hostname, ip address, or something else that AutoCAD is looking for that isn't there. Are there paths in the support file search path, plotting paths, menus, etc. that point to a remote server?

    Check this out: http://cadpanacea.com/node/71 -- and then go get Process Monitor (which replaced FileMon). Take a look and see if you can find exactly where the delay is occurring.

    BTW: We have a similar setup. Generally speaking the working files are kept on a local server, but there is always work being done across the WAN to a remote server and we do not have these issues. We also have Riverbed network acceleration appliances inline to help with the speed, but even without these, you should not be experiencing delays in AutoCAD. The only file traffic is really during an open or save, unless you have support paths mapped across the WAN as I mentioned above...
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

  3. #3
    All AUGI, all the time TerribleTim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Server Woes. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by rkmcswain View Post
    . . . The only file traffic is really during an open or save, ...
    That's what I thought too. Thanks for the tip on the tool, I'll check it out and see what I can find out.

    I'm also noticing now (after standing there watching the user's machine) that it is not limited to AutoCAD. just browsing windows explorer causes huge slowdowns and freezes too.

  4. #4
    Administrator rkmcswain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Server Woes. . .

    We have decommissioned a few servers around here, changing their hostname in the process. Usually, by the time we do this, it has been months or even years and everyone is mapped over to new servers.... But it never fails, as soon as the server is physically offline - calls start pouring in about this application or that application is "locked up" or "slow"...

    Of course what is happening is that it's looking for "serverX" which is not there and Windows just won't give it - it will hang whatever app thinks it needs the missing server. Same thing can happen with missing system printers, and shortcuts (especially in "My Network Places"). Lastly the sidebar in AutoCAD where you can place shortcuts to locations... I have seen shortcuts to nowhere in there also.
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

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    Default Re: Server Woes. . .

    We had a similar problem. I had to configure AutoCAD for an Engineer we hired to work in Japan. While he was in the US for training, we set his computer up the same way as our Engineers here the United States. He experienced the same slowness you described when he tried to use the computer from Japan.

    Our IT department resolved the issue by creating a Distributed File System (DFS). I'm not going to claim I understand all of the details of this system, but basically it allows me to configure AutoCAD the same for every user globally. We simply list the support paths by domain name and then directory instead of by drive name. Example: \\Doman_name.corp\global\cad\lisp"
    The DFS knows to get the files from that locations local directory.

    This also allows me to make menu changes and quickly (Almost instantly) have them available to all global locations. Having a DFS has made managing global Cad seats much easier.

    Here is an wiki link that describes such a system.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distrib...em_(Microsoft))

    Good luck,
    Ron Moore

  6. #6
    Administrator rkmcswain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Server Woes. . .

    We use DFS also. Basically, it keeps mirrors of the data you specify and Windows figures out which server to retreive the data from at the time - if you use the DFS share as the path.
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

  7. #7
    All AUGI, all the time TerribleTim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Server Woes. . .

    Thanks guys. Guess I got some reading to do on that.

  8. #8
    Administrator rkmcswain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Server Woes. . .

    Just note that it's probably not practical to use DFS on a large directory with GB of data.
    We only set up DFS for our network support directory with a few small files like "Acad.lsp", "acaddoc.lsp", etc., and the plot styles, some fonts, and maybe a few more things.

    Of course I don't claim to be an expert on it by any means. Post back if you find some good information to share. Thanks.
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

  9. #9
    The Silent Type RobertB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Server Woes. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by rkmcswain View Post
    Just note that it's probably not practical to use DFS on a large directory with GB of data. ... Of course I don't claim to be an expert on it by any means. Post back if you find some good information to share.
    We use DFS for application support. DFS can get messed up if you publish a large set of tool catalogs from ACA/MEP. DFS doesn't do a very good job with the thousands of small image files supporting the tool palettes.
    R. Robert Bell
    Design Technology Manager
    Stantec
    Opinions expressed are mine alone and do not reflect the views of Stantec.

  10. #10
    All AUGI, all the time TerribleTim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Server Woes. . .

    So the "powers that be" decided it best to set up a second file server at the other office and move all the files that will be worked on by that office to that server and then do some remapping on all the machines.

    Sounds good to me. Hopefully it solves the issue. Thanks for the help guys.

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