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Thread: PRI progressive revit implosion

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    100 Club mschroeder's Avatar
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    Post PRI progressive revit implosion

    We are swiftly moving into CD's of a residential complex that exceeds a million SF. Our largest single building is 390K SF and contains several hundred units. We sought the advice of Autodesk and others before proceeding to establish the best Revit approach to this project type and size. At that time we were advised to maintain a single Revit model; which we did. After all, we were producing a single deliverable.

    This worked relatively smoothly with three and four person teams in early to mid DD. However late in DD we were pushed by a very aggressive schedule and needed to throw more bodies on the project. Soon, the team inflated to 7-8 and we started to experience what I can only explain as a progressive Revit implosion.

    Back in mid DD we had seen our STC times jump to more than ten minutes. We reacted by increasing our STC interval to every 30 minutes. Slashing the STC times to about three minutes. We had also experienced out of memory crashes on several occasions, so we diligently trained the team to use selective open of worksets. Granting requests became very problematic so we adjusted to the newly enabled 8.1 behavior of transparent borrowing and instructed everyone to not "make editable" worksets. We designated a person to compact the file every night and people more or less got use to the sluggishness of the model and we sailed along.

    Crunch-time, our team swelled to seven active Revit users, we encountered a troubling
    sign of things to come. Our users would STC in 30 minute intervals, and almost every time they would need to wait while the central file is being accessed by someone message displayed and finally cleared. By this time STC times averaged five minutes. Suddenly, our highly productive team was left twiddling their thumbs or doing the STC dance as they call it. STC collisions were preventing transparent borrowing from working quickly and preventing our uses from saving frequently. We hit a kind of virtual wall when no matter how we timed our STC's there was always a significant wait *(see note below).

    Our post mortem review of DD indicated that we had to fix this problem, or we were in serious trouble. So after many tests and scenario planning, I split the model into three separate models. Many considerations went into this split: Loss of tagging and annotation across links, duplication of types and managing type marks, dummy views and coordination of structural grids, but we needed to do it.

    Now we find ourselves with cross linked models, scheduling across links and coordination management causing sleepless nights. Also troubling is we have several views that are in our base model that need to show all of these models in a single view, requiring one to load all of the Revit links. One out of two times this will crash your Revit session. Once loaded, Revit consumes nearly all of our 2GB of memory - and that's with selective workset loading.

    We will forge ahead. I'm wondering if any of you are working on large Revit projects with large teams that have encountered similar issues. Any advice or support is appreciated.



    * STC time: five minutes. Seven users saving every thirty minutes, (5 * 7 = 35). With seven users you would need to save every 35 minutes to save to central without colliding. As your STC interval gets longer your STC duration increases. Add the overhead of borrowing and this begins to define Revit's usability limit. What's the sweet spot for duration and interval?

    Central file specs:
    Single model:
    180MB (flux 40MB per day with compact every night)
    Split models:
    Base 15MB
    Building A 120MB
    Building B 90MB
    Structure 15MB

    Additional Specs:
    Revit 8.1 (latest build)
    Workstation hardware: P4 3.2GHz, 2GB of RAM
    Server: EMC fiber channel SAN
    Network: Gigabit

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    AUGI Addict hand471037's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRI progressive revit implosion

    When's your deliverable due?

    Revit 9 will help and/or solve some of your linking issues. Can't say much more, but get on the Beta if you can to see what I mean.

    How many raster images do you have in there? I've found that it makes a big difference in file size.

    Also, how repetitious are certain elements? Do you really need them all in the model? For example, at a place I worked doing multi-family housing, in SD thru DD we'd have all the furniture be actual 3D furniture within the units, and have all the units drawn in the building. Later on in DD and into CD's, we'd swap all the furniture in the units for very lightweight 2D families or even just lines (for it just had to be there for the building department to believe it was a livable unit, it wasn't ever seen but in plan in cd's). We'd also delete all the units on the upper floors, and instead just have one floor of 'typical' units, and tag the rest of the spaces with custom room tags that pointed back to the unit plans.

    It very much sounds like you could be over-modeling. Is everything 3D? Do you have things showing up everywhere? Do you REALLY need everything to be 3D and showing up everywhere?

    Also another thing is how many of your elements within your Project are referencing other things when they don't need to be? Another example from that multi-family place is where we were using the standard out of the box toilet, which is hosted by a wall. 300 units in a building equals 600 toilets equals 1200 things (the walls and the toilets) that Revit had to think about every time you touched a wall or a toilet. Not so good. It slowed things down. And it's not like we're moving the walls constantly and needing all the toilets to stay stuck to them, the toilets were within a Group anyways that was the unit plan, so it's not like someone could just move the wall, then move the toilet, and have them all change together when the finished the group. By switching to a non-wall hosted toilet it helped.

    What I tell my users here is if you're not scheduling it, or counting it, and if it doesn't need to show up in every view, DON'T MODEL IT!

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by hand471037; 2006-03-15 at 06:47 PM.

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    Revit Arch. Wishlist Mgr. Wes Macaulay's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRI progressive revit implosion

    I doubt Schroeder and company are over modeling: I suspect their project is just really big. We've got a couple of projects with very similar specs to yours and have exactly the same sort of problems. This is something the developers just need to address.

    You either have to:
    • break up the model more, and/or
    • reduce the number of people working on any given file
    ...and get more RAM!

    So here's my Revit-killer recipe:
    • Central file over 150Mb with more than 4 users working on the file
    Jeffery's point about referencing is important. Keep the model as loose as possible -- lock nothing, host nothing.

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    AUGI Addict hand471037's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRI progressive revit implosion

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Macaulay
    ...and get more RAM!
    Or get Autodesk to catch up with modern technology and make their tools multi-processor and 64-bit compatable. sheesh. Every year it just gets worse. Soon my new gig will be getting me a dual-core laptop, one of the new Dell ones, and Windows will barely be able to use it's new hardware, and Revit not at all. That second core will just sit idle. Or if I order that dual-opteron I'm looking at for home, and load it up with 4-6 gigs of Ram, then I'm throwing my money away for Revit won't make use of any of the extra processors or ram. But if I load Linux on it, then it's fully used. Cripes.

    sorry. had to get that off my chest.

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    Default Re: PRI progressive revit implosion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey McGrew
    Or get Autodesk to catch up with modern technology and make their tools multi-processor and 64-bit compatable. sheesh. Every year it just gets worse. Soon my new gig will be getting me a dual-core laptop, one of the new Dell ones, and Windows will barely be able to use it's new hardware, and Revit not at all. That second core will just sit idle. Or if I order that dual-opteron I'm looking at for home, and load it up with 4-6 gigs of Ram, then I'm throwing my money away for Revit won't make use of any of the extra processors or ram. But if I load Linux on it, then it's fully used. Cripes.

    sorry. had to get that off my chest.
    Jeff,
    when you get that CoreDuo (who names these things, anyway? Talk about sheesh!) try setting core two to nothing but the Revit executable. Sure Revit doesn't know anything about dual cores, but Windows does, and will try to balance threads between the cores, but I believe you can force the revit thread to one core, and let the other core handle everything else. Now RAM we are still waiting on. Hey Autodesk, just because Intel told you for years that nobody wanted 64 bit apps doesn't mean you have to keep listening. Make a 64 bit Revit; for the love of God, just do it!
    I was planning on going dual core myself, but then I found a great deal on this motorcycle...

    Gordon

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    AUGI Addict Andre Baros's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRI progressive revit implosion

    This only helps a little bit, but we pull a lot of things out of the main file through families. A lot of our detail components are built as complete detail assemblies and then just placed into the project where they belong. The person drawing the details doesn't even need to place them, just keep drawing detail component families and let someone else place them into the model or onto sheets as needed. I gets harder with more people, but we always try to keep someone just working in the family editor. Early on on components, and later on details.

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    AUGI Addict hand471037's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRI progressive revit implosion

    Quote Originally Posted by gordon.price
    Sure Revit doesn't know anything about dual cores, but Windows does, and will try to balance threads between the cores, but I believe you can force the revit thread to one core, and let the other core handle everything else.
    Thanks for the tip, and trying to help out. I appreciate it. I already know this, and am gonna give it a try.

    But it's just depressing that the second (Microsoft) and the fourth (Autodesk) software companies can't get their acts together to even have their software use technology that's been available for years now, let alone what's coming down the line. Heck, they (Autodesk) doesn't even seem to talk within itself at times. Just take a look at how nice the OpenGL and large models behave in Inventor as apposed to Revit. You'd think the Revit and Inventor camp would get together and swap some know-how by now... sheesh.

    ...and I'm not buying myself this laptop, thank god. I don't have the money either!

  8. #8
    100 Club mschroeder's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRI progressive revit implosion

    Guys:

    I appreciate your feedback and I'll take it back to my camp to digest. As for looking at the next release, it's been discussed, but we think it would be more disruptive to upgrade mid CD's.

    Looks like I hit a nerve with these performance limitations. Maybe one of you could start a serious methodic thread on the topic and sort the mystery from fact.




    The search for the perfect venture can turn into procrastination. Your idea may or may not have merit. The key is to get started. J Bradshaw

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    AUGI Addict hand471037's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRI progressive revit implosion

    Quote Originally Posted by mschroeder
    Looks like I hit a nerve with these performance limitations. Maybe one of you could start a serious methodic thread on the topic and sort the mystery from fact.
    Sorry there. It's just that we've all run headlong into some of the issues and had to work around them in one way or another. And it's painful to have used Revit for five years now, to have seen it grow from zero to hero, but yet still not be able to fully utilize what now is almost commodity cheap hardware. I can get a barebones dual Opteron system for $1200 that Revit nor Windows would be able to fully use, but would be much faster and have much more ram than a ****** Dell.

    Sorry to hijack the thread.

    Oh hey, also, with your Project: how many linked in DWG's do you have? Are they project-wide, or just within certain views?

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    100 Club mschroeder's Avatar
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    Default Re: PRI progressive revit implosion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey McGrew
    Oh hey, also, with your Project: how many linked in DWG's do you have? Are they project-wide, or just within certain views?
    Nope, we don't allow DWG linking for performance reasons. We only import and re-import. Only a few of them are imported to a "level" the rest are peppered in drafting views.

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