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Autocad LT2011 network help needed

Posted on 2011-10-20
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Hi all, Im hoping that someone can provide some help for the issues my client has - ive never used Autocad myself hence my coming to the knowledgable ones such as yourselves. Our client is running Autocad LT2011 and is using xrefs on his drawings, he is utilising the server but finds when people start logging on things slow down so much its pretty unuasble. My client wants to add another architect in to the team, so things will start getting worse im sure. The network has a 10/100mbps backbone, the server is running SBS2003 and is a HP proliant ML150 G3 (this works fine for the general users) which has 4gb ram, a Xeon 1.6ghz processor and around 150gb free space.
 
To improve the speed of Autocad what should we do? Replace the main server to something with more umpf or stick in a small CAD server?
 
I look forward to your replies.
 
Cheers Simon
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Question by:leehewson
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by:silverkorn
ID: 37001132
You can try changing the XLOADCTL system variable within AutoCAD to a value of 2. Basically what this will do is force the copy of the xref(s) locally to the workstation thus eliminating the additional network traffic. More info on XLOADCTL found here:
http://docs.autodesk.com/ACD/2011/ENU/filesACR/WS1a9193826455f5ffa23ce210c4a30acaf-4dbc.htm
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by:leehewson
ID: 37001197
Thanks for the quick reply, he is adament that he wants to run this from the server so that its backed up etc.... Would it be better to add a small pc/server and shift the xref to that?
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by:silverkorn
ID: 37001257
well the xref files themselves actually stay on the server, but a copy of the xref file(s) is then copied to the local workstation so when information is needed from that xref file the workstation is looking to the local drive and not over the network.
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Author Comment

by:leehewson
ID: 37001274
Ah ok, so are updates automatically written back to the main file(s) or does the user have to manually save regularly? I was told there could be 5 or more drawings open at a time which seems to be slowing things down quite considerably.
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silverkorn earned 2000 total points
ID: 37001312
everything is saved back to the server, the only thing that was copied locally to the workstation are temporary files that are only there for AutoCAD to use when the work session is open. Once the user clicks the save button then all changes made are then saved back to the server.

The XLOADCTL system setting is specifically there for these kind of problems with numerous xrefs attempting to load over a network interface. The only downside is that the drawing might take longer for the initial load as it then copies the files locally for the current work session, which is why Autodesk has this option turned off by default.

To change the setting have the user keyin the system variable XLOADCTL and have them enter in 2 and press enter.
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Author Comment

by:leehewson
ID: 37055549
Thanks for the update but our CAD man has already set the XLOADCTL value to 2 and the problem still occurs when the network gets busy. Would it be beneficial to stick in another box for him to work of on his own?
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by:silverkorn
ID: 37056542
check the network usage to see if its actually the server or the network causing the slowdown. We have numerous users using Land Desktop and Civil 3D over a 10/100 network and have not experienced any network slow downs.

it could be a bad wire somewhere in the mix or your network switch could be on its way out.
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