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Thread: Working Locally Vs. Server

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    Default Working Locally Vs. Server

    I've recently become supervisor of our design department and am being faced with a new challenge. Our company has traditionally followed the practice of copying files down from the server to our local machines. We work on all files locally and then copy them back up to the server at various points. Many reasons led us down this path. I can understand that technology has improved over the years and maybe some of our concerns are now resolved as result.

    I'm curious what the thoughts of others are in regards to working on files locally versus from the server. A couple of new employees are adamant about working directly off of the server. Those of us whom have been around for awhile are the complete opposite. I either need to confirm my beliefs and retain our current practices or learn that things previously feared are no more and look into migrating the thoughts of our company so as to work more from the server.

    Any and all feedback are greatly appreciated.

    Jason

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    Default Re: Working Locally Vs. Server

    Short of using Vault or some other dedicated check out/in system I don't think I can trust most users to manually get the correct file, follow procedure, etc. We have next-to-no problems with files on the server, aside from the occasional cosmic-ray-induced file corruption. Its one less thing the designers have to concern themselves with so they can do that much more in their area of expertise (which isn't file management).
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    Default Re: Working Locally Vs. Server

    We work completely, 100%, from the server. We rarely have any type of hiccup that slows/interrupts daily CAD activities. I agree with dgorsman about trusting that employees would get the correct file and following procedure.
    Personally, I have always worked directly from the server and IMO, I think it's the best and smartest way to carry out production.
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    Default Re: Working Locally Vs. Server

    I really tried to go "server only" where I'm at; but whether it's the 2008 hardware (PowerEdge 840), the fact that we get such horrendous dust in this office from the gravel trucks (the server is in an enclosure, but the constantly-clogged filter probably hurts almost as much as it helps), the brand-spankin'-old Windows Server 2003, or the poorly-run network cabling, it just hasn't been feasible. *sigh*
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    Default Re: Working Locally Vs. Server

    I won't give away the farm here, but we do both. All of our drawings and project work is on the server. All of our settings, profiles, cui (except custom), etc. are on the server. The settings side of AutoDESK products are (or will be) robocopied onto every users pc based on criteria.
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    Default Re: Working Locally Vs. Server

    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore284 View Post
    I've recently become supervisor of our design department and am being faced with a new challenge. Our company has traditionally followed the practice of copying files down from the server to our local machines. We work on all files locally and then copy them back up to the server at various points. Many reasons led us down this path. I can understand that technology has improved over the years and maybe some of our concerns are now resolved as result.

    I'm curious what the thoughts of others are in regards to working on files locally versus from the server. A couple of new employees are adamant about working directly off of the server. Those of us whom have been around for awhile are the complete opposite. I either need to confirm my beliefs and retain our current practices or learn that things previously feared are no more and look into migrating the thoughts of our company so as to work more from the server.

    Any and all feedback are greatly appreciated.

    Jason
    I will admit that we used to work directly off of our computers. But, that was due to the fact that our connection to the server was a bit spotty and long-distance. Since we moved out of that building and IT has upgraded their infrastructure, we don't do this anymore.

    Also, the carelessness of some users caused us to restrict write access to the server to only three people, because a couple of files that had been worked on, had been overwritten by someone dropping an older file back on the server.

    I wouldn't trust it. People are human and they muck up.

    Working off of the server directly for at least the last 9 years and we have experienced no difficulties as a result (oh, except IT renaming the server without telling us once, but, a quick switcheroo with reference manager took care of those problems).
    If I were to move into a company that only worked locally, I'd probably think they were a bunch of luddites.


    YES, I keep a local backup myself on an extra hard drive. But, it's for reference, not working, I only really do that because I work in a hospital and it's a necessary part of our disaster plan... with a remote data center out in the county, a natural disaster could cut us off from our servers and we have to keep the buildings operational so the patients stay safe.
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    Default Re: Working Locally Vs. Server

    We have been working on drawings directly off the servers (SBS 2003) for years and it has worked great. AutoCAD is on the local computer with customization on the server.
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    Default Re: Working Locally Vs. Server

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C View Post
    We have been working on drawings directly off the servers (SBS 2003) for years and it has worked great. AutoCAD is on the local computer with customization on the server.
    I'm with Brian, except that we are trying to make the local computer dynamic based on circumstances that take place when an I.T. person writes back to the server to push out changes silently to workstations.... that is where the fun starts.
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    Default Re: Working Locally Vs. Server

    Obviously it depends how far your are from the server and the speed on connection. Our global company has its server the other side of the world from me. For years we had a menu driven checkout/in system that controlled the local downloads/uploads. Now we work direct to the server & a fast connection, but not fast enough. It generally works well but I don't like the long delay when using AutoCADs external commands. AutoCAD searches down the search path starting at the current folder which is now the server, hence the delay. I would like Autodesk to give us an option so that current folder can be removed from the search path. I tried via the wish list but so few folk work remotely that it didn't get anywhere.

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    Default Re: Working Locally Vs. Server

    Server all the way, except maybe in situations where you are working remotely and do not have a good connection to the server. It is much easier and safer to manage the files on the server for backups and sharing. Allowing people, no matter how good they are to manage updating the files is risky. I believe customization should also be on the server for the same reasons, but if you want it locally, keep the masters on the server and update locally on start up with something like robocopy. Keeping users customizations locally limits their productivity should they need to jump to another machine unless your using roaming profiles - which assumes your on a domain. With some simple tweaks to AutoCAD's settings and creating user shares on the server you could do it without using roaming profiles.

    Walt

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