Autodesk Revit Server, in it’s 3rd gen, improves upon previous versions and allows users within an organization across multiple locations to simultaneously collaborate on Revit workshared projects. I’m going to explain what’s new in Revit Server 2014 and also show you how to set it up in your office. Understand the concepts, and then get the servers ready by installing any prerequisites. It might sound obvious, but before implementing Revit Server in your office, it’s highly recommended to do some planning and draw it out logically how you want / expect it to work. You don’t want to make a bunch of Revit Servers floating around your network and cluttering your VM.
A few questions that came through my inbox included how resources from domain A can access resources in domain B in conjunction with using Revit Server. Additionally, when you install Revit 2012 (Architecture, Structure, or MEP), you also have the option of specifying the name of your Revit Server to connect your Revit instance. If you’re on the same domain, your DNS will take care of name resolution to your domains. Trouble starts when you’re working with RS environments between different domains since server1 from domain A can’t talk to server2 from domain B since it doesn’t know it’s IP. To fix it, you will need to configure conditional forwarders.
This from the DNS snap-in from the Windows 2008 R2 server, and from there, you have a few options:
You just place the DNS domain name in the top section and the IP address of the DNS server that is authoritative for that domain below. Storing the conditional forwarder in AD is not default, but recommended (check box). You can also specify the amount of time the DNS server will wait before it times out (default is 5 seconds). If you’re going between different domains in different countries / continents, I would increase the time out period.
This will allow different domains to establish connection between users -> local Revit Server -> Central Revit Server. Hope it helps you guys configuring and expanding RS! If you have trouble, feel free to drop a comment!
Yesterday, I was working with this really cool architecture / engineering firm (to be kept secretive, just take my word that their stuff is amazing and has been featured in more than a few magazines) on setting up their Revit Server. But this isn’t the run-of-the-mill configuration… We already setup Revit Servers in their different offices (even sites across oceans). This time, it will be between different domains!
First, we established a domain trust with one of their partners. Then we setup Revit Server onto their partners’ Revit server. At the end of the day, we got all of their Revit Servers talking to each other and their models are happily working between the various offices AND their partners offices, AND taking into consideration of site link costs and their connection speeds. Here’s a overly simplified diagram. Yes, it can be done.
The Revit Server video is up on our Vimeo channel as well as my YouTube channel! It includes a live preparation of Windows Server 2008 R2 in my VMware Workstation, as well as an actually installation. Make sure you watch it before trying it out in your office to save yourself some downtime, not to mention headaches!!
If you have any questions, comments, or even suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email! I’m always open to constructive critics’ thoughts and opinions!
Revit Server update: After a LOT of testing with my sandbox, I got Revit Server up and running. Seeing that I didn’t have my regular Server 2008 media, I had to use 2008 R2. And I did it through VMware… Okay, so it’s not officially supported by Autodesk but it does work. Those who are trying it themselves; there are some things missing from the prerequisite pages. I’ve already sent the updates in. A full implementation video in progress, STAY TUNED!
*Mark your calendars for October 12!!!! We’re going to be having an event in the Apple store on 14th street for more news about AutoCAD on the MAC. See you there, but you must register!
If you haven’t heard already, there is MAJOR news on the Autodesk front. Just released is the subscription advantage packs for lots of stuff. Lots of AutoCAD based packs, but what I’m clamoring about is the Revit stuff, Revit Server specifically.
This is an Autodesk software solution for sharing Revit Central Files across a WAN. We’ve used Riverbed, Globescape, and other solutions; again, this is direct from Autodesk. Watch this quick little video by Autodesk for more info.
Users point to the central server and/or IP address. No ping = no connect. Obvious isn’t it? Some info:
Technical Requirements: (updated)
- Officially: Windows Server 2008 (64 bit OS) – no R2, no virtualization
- IIS 7.0 + IE 7.0 (or higher) + Silverlight plug-in + MS .NET 3.5 SP1
- Roles + Services specified by the Autodesk readme file.
- Delete, rename or move files on Revit Servers using Revit Server Administrator (RSA)
- Disabled features: Editing Requests, Working At Risk, Rollback, model thumbnails, worksharing monitor.
Revit Server Administrator: (highlights)
- Web based tool
- Users can type the server name in browser (IIS based access control)
- Folder management done using RSA (create, delete, rename and move folders)
- Backup and restoration – lock/unlock central files
- View submission history for any model changes
Keep in mind this is definitely not a cloud solution. As one of the testers noted, this is version 1. You know what that means, take it with a grain of salt. We all know that v1 is never close to perfect, but it’s got real potential. After a little bit of testing in my sandbox….