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Revit performance problems over WAN

Posted on 2015-01-06
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Hello Experts - I'm relatively new to supporting architects and could use some advice on how to handle a performance issue with Revit 2014.  Users have been complaining that working on Revit models between offices on a 10mb MPLS WAN is slow to the point of being difficult to use.  We have a fairly large model (188mb) that came up as an issue this morning.  It takes upwards of 25 minutes for it to sync across the WAN and during this time no one can make changes.  With three users working on the model the synchronizations are taking longer than the work done in some cases.

I'm not really sure where to start with this one.  The users have capable Dell Precision workstations, not the fastest but they should be up to the task.  The file server (2003) is virtual and runs on VMware Vcenter 5.1.  The storage system is a new Netapp 2240.  Everything is connected with gigabit HP switches and the WAN between offices are both 10mb MPLS circuits.

One recommendation I've been told may help is to install a Revit 2014 server but I don't know much about it.  I would appreciate any feedback or advice on the topic, thanks!
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Question by:danbrown_
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Cashpanda earned 500 total points
ID: 40534174
Hello-
I work for an engineering firm in multiple locations and this was also an issue for us.
At first we used a P2P T1 in between the two offices, and when we upgraded our ISP, we went for a 6.0\3.0 MPLS.
My guys run Revit on Precision Laptops.

I would be quick to blame your 2003 server as the bottleneck in your WAN.
It's processor and hardware limits the speed of the connections you'd like to do.
Your network can only run as quick as the machine serving the file.

We implemented a Riverbed WAN Optimization device that really increased speed interoffice and tied the network together.
I understand that it is a large item in the IT budget-- (hardware purchase + Service) but it really did help.
Its about the cost of an additional server.
You can set it to optimize certain addresses, ports, or not-- to your needs.
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by:danbrown_
ID: 40534203
Hi Cashpanda - thanks for getting back to me.  Its certainly possible the bottleneck is on the file server, that's one of the few components I haven't had time to upgrade since I started.  I'm going to try a small experiment and move one of the projects to a brand new NAS and have the same group try it from there.  That should tell me if the file server is the bottleneck here.  Thanks for the advice!
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by:Cashpanda
ID: 40534319
No problem. Hope it helps, or at least points you in a direction.

Another thought I had:
Also, you can run a CMD>Tracert (IP Address) to the server from one of the satelitte workstations.
It will show you the "Hops" the data takes to get to destination.
Check the lines for your ISP name and other re-director domains.
If this is stalling somewhere or redirecting to wild places, you may have an issue with your ISP.

I always dislike telling people that an upgrade is the best fix, because it seems like a cop out, but my aged 2003 server really slowed down my network the last year it was up. It had a solid 10 year run, and was functional still when decommissioned.
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