FlexLM on Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine for Autodesk 2013 & 2012 products

Got Windows Server 2008 R2? Got virtualization plans? If so, check out the latest video. You can install FlexLM on guests running on Hyper-V or VMware. For this video, I’m going to be installing FlexLM using VMware Workstation, with a Windows Server 2008 R2 guest. It’s always recommended to ‘hard code’ your virtual guests’ MAC address so it doesn’t change. Complete setup and configuration in just over 6 minutes to get your license servers up and running, and your users back to work.

 

Here are the steps in case you feel like reading and not watching my awesome video:

  1. Load the latest FlexLM on the media of 2013 software. You should be using 11.10.xxxx. Should look similar to:
  2. On the Autocad install DVD (or any other installation DVD)  or the extracted EXE file, the path for FlexLM is named NLM.msi, under folder: C:\Autodesk\AutoCAD_2013_English_Win_64bit\x64\en-US\Tools\NLM\
  3. Note down the existing settings onto notepad and copy the files (especially the license file) off to a backup directory.  You do not want to mess up and delete your license file!!!!
  4. Remove the old version via “Programs and Features” in Control Panel.  You can also stop the service manually and do an “in place” installation.
  5. Click on the MSI file and follow the installation wizard. It’s as simple as clicking next a bunch of times.
  6. Once it’s installed, make sure the initial check box, “LMTOOLS ignores license file path environment variables” is checked. To configure as service, go to the CONFIG SERVICES tab and point/browse to those locations for LMGRD, LICENSE FILE, DEBUG FILE (you have to get the license file from Autodesk and create a debug.log file manually). Make sure the two check boxes are checked and click on SAVE SERVICE.
  7. Go to the Start/Stop/Reread tab and click on the Start Server button.
  8. Once the status shows Server Start Successful, go to the Server Status tab and click on the Perform Status Enquiry button.
  9. VOILA! You’ll see all the licenses available to you in the status window!

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Revit 2012 Deployment & Customization

Autodesk has recently released the Revit 2012 Deployment Utility to help BIM Managers with Revit configuration. There is no longer a Revit.ini file on the deployment image; instead, there is a inifile.xml file that creates the Revit.ini on workstation installation.

Check out the video and make sure you switch it to HD so you can see the text clearer. I’ll show you how to modify the XML source file before any installation happens. This will result in a clean push without needing any bandaid modifications on the workstations later.

 

There are some great resources from Autodesk and their support team bloggers documenting Revit customization. Check them out after you finish watching the video for more info:

Leveraging 3D printing to be better than awesome!

HUGE shout out to Karen Lewis, our director of marketing of Microsol Resources, for coordinating an amazingly successful event. Originally slated for the Rose Auditorium in the new Cooper Union building, we had moved the event to the Foundation Building in The Great Hall for the enormous interest. Did you know that The Great Hall once had 8 presidents had spoken there since it’s opening in 1858, with Lincoln accounting his own presidency to his speech in The Great Hall in 1860?! Sounds awesome? It is!

We have had our own 3D printer grace our offices for the past year or so, and we’re always looking for things to print. Our offices have printed stuff all over the place, along very detailed models that spin, rotate, and flip to mimic real objects (steering column, ball bearings, wrenches, screw cap bottle). Yes, you can print components that move with the Z Corp machines. It’s a lot cheaper than most people imagine, and the detail is amazing. If you’re awesome enough to tour firms like Pelli or Foster, ask to check out their 3D printing labs and see for yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Revit Server… across different domains!

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.

Revit Server: Setting it up right the 1st time

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!

SUCCESS!!!!

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!

Serve me up some Revit Server!

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.

Limitations:

  • 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

Useful resources:

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….

“2011 – Autodesk, Networks, Deployments, etc etc” webinar

Just finished presenting my 2011 webinar on Wednesday, Whoohooo! Enhanced with a new slide deck and new virtual interface this year, you can tell that I did some prepping for this presentation. Hope that everyone who joined really enjoyed it! Yes, I did get to put in some much loved antics. Yes, I gave shout-outs to all my folks. Yes, it is recorded – click the pic for the link on vimeo! 🙂

networkwebinarshot1

Recorded the deployment creation separately using Navisworks Manage 2011 instead of Revit Architecture 2011 so that I can fast-forward it.  Everyone will be able to see the complete demo, and even include the GPO software deployment.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email! I’m always open to constructive critics’ thoughts and opinions 🙂 While you do that, I’ll be multitasking and preparing for my next Microsoft exam… Whooohooo!