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Remote Office VPN

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Jeff H:
What do you guys use so people can work on AutoCAD files from two separate offices?
Will we have problems using  Revit worksets using VPN from server to revote office?

I will be interested in what others have to say
I am the technical liaison to IT and we've been over this a lot.

Assuming it's an office and not a single user that you want to share a central with.
We use a DFS server. While not officially supported by Autodesk it works well for AutoCAD if you use (setvar "XLOADCTL" 2). Revit has been pretty solid but a bit more problematical at times. When in crunch time we've confused the server and end up with the project in the conflict and deleted folder. This does not happen often but it can.

I have also done the BIM route for both Revit and AutoCAD using desktop connector for AutoCAD.
If you like we can talk a bit about the Revit server. It's was built to do this but personally I don't think it's a real good answer.

We are now over 200 engineers running in 7 offices. We seem to assign people to project without regard to where they are located so we do this a lot.

We've been trying out "Dropbox" (-i.e. not necessarily specifically "Dropbox" but any old cloud will do; "sharefile", "dropbox", "nextcloud", "onedrive" etc.) for a while now and it's working out fairly well. A few issues but typically we have only one person working on a task at a time (everyone is just too busy to be mulling around). When we do share a model among several people we have to coordinate sync times but overall it (the duct tape solution) is working really well. In the decentralized spirit of methods I really liked the "Syncthing" method we tried out a while back. Syncthing isn't a cloud, its a Peer-2-Peer thing, that gave us more security (and I could manually control what was and what wasn't sync'd). We do this because VPN is so slow and with the cloud setup we sync files amongst ourselves almost as fast as if we were on the same network. At worst there is a few seconds lag between me and someone across the country.

The problem with Revit and a cloud or P2P solution (and your problem too) is the *.dat files revit needs to sync ("wperms", "eperms", etc). The wperms and eperms.dat files are the workset and element files which tells your revit what is and what isn't locked (revit pings and saves these files every second or so).

You shouldn't necessarily have a problem with worksets and VPN but honestly you need to kill the use of worksets in your projects and rely on filters and visibility graphics (view templates). Worksets really are not needed in your models (unless you're dumb enough to have every discipline--a,s,m,p,e,c...--in one model) and are a really misunderstood aspect of Revit. Worksets are not a "AutoCAD Layer thing" -e.g. they are a method to turn off an entire discipline in a multi discipline shared model (just a vague example). ...If you're a boss (decision maker) I can give you the direction you want to tell your people to go down otherwise we can talk specifics if your up for it.

AutoCAD is a different beast; sheetsets are a royal pain the ass with any solution (other then VPN)!

We use Dropbox, for Acad and other support files, and BIM360 for Revit.

SSM (sheet set manager) doesn't play well with Dropbox, so we need to request/announce when we're going into SSM to avoid conflicted copies.
(only one person at a time can be in the SSM in dropbox or it creates conflicted copies)

Greg B:
Not AutoCAD related or really any CAD, but we have RemotePC and I set up user accounts for people that are working from home.  They remote into their own machines in the office and just control it through the app.  As a Non Profit, we do ask the people to use their own computers at home.

We have recently upgraded to a new server at our datacenter as well as adding CentreStack.  This program acts like dropbox or onedrive.  It syncs with the company file server and allows users to access files through a web portal (they can install software on their computers to create a mapped drive as well).


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