Archive for the ‘Installation’ Category

Several people have asked about the hardware needed for a Caching Server, or more specifically what specs need are required for the virtual machine.  I would typically break a remote office down into a few categories before making a recommendation.

You can classify remote offices in one of three categories (Small, Medium, & Large) based on number of ProjectWise users in that office. The amount of storage however may change from office to office based on the amount of files stored plus the amount of files cached from other offices.  In addition, if you are adding the Point Cloud Streaming to the server you will not want to cut corners as this adds more processing.

Remote Office

Description

Local Users

Processors

RAM

C:\Drive

D:\Drive

Small

PW Caching Server

<30

2

4 GB RAM

60 GB

File Storage

Medium

PW Caching Server

30 – 60

4

6 GB RAM

60 GB

File Storage

Large

PW Caching Server

>60

6

8 GB RAM

60 GB

File Storage

EJA

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On just about ever new deployment of ProjectWise I get the same question about Caching Servers.  “How do I know if I need a Caching Server in an office or not?”  Well, first we need to understand what a caching server does and a little more about how it will be used.

The ProjectWise Caching Server has a dual purpose.  The first is to store files that are managed by the ProjectWise system and the second is to cache files that are stored in remote offices.  A Caching Server generally would need the same processing power as a local file server and is not processor intensive. However, the addition of a Point Cloud Service can increase the need for processing power.  The Point Cloud Service is only needed on a ProjectWise Caching Server that is also the storage area for the point clouds.

For medium to larger installs, it is highly recommended that a ProjectWise Caching Server be at the same location as the ProjectWise Integration Server for performance reasons.  Having ProjectWise Caching Servers in a remote office is one of the largest decisions when determining the system architecture.  General rules for determining if an office needs a ProjectWise Caching Server include the following:

  • 10 or more users in an office that will utilize ProjectWise
  • Five or more users in an office that work on the same projects and files
  • Offices that have higher latency
  • Offices with limited bandwidth
  • Use of large files
  • When distributed storage is desired
  • When better performance is needed

In many offices that are right on the fence one way or another you may start with no Caching Server with the understanding if performance is an issue a Caching Server should be added.

EJA

With the new ProjectWise SS4 Update we have some changes that need to be considered when planning on Full Text Indexing.  First off is the fact that the Microsoft Index Server is not supported on Windows 2012 Server.  This has been our indexing engine since full text searching was introduced in ProjectWise 2004.  The update now supports both the older Microsoft Index Server on Windows Server 2008 and the new Microsoft Windows Search Server which if you are going to Windows Server 2012 is the only way to go.  The new Windows Search Server does require a SQL server and for medium to large users this may need to be a separate SQL server to meet the expected load. Performance and scalability are much better with the Windows Search Server.

EJA