Help! - Using SolidWorks in Mulitple Locations

Can anyone tell me what it takes to have SolidWorks running in more than one location and sharing the same data?
The company I work for has 4 Engineers who use SolidWorks. We would
like to have 2 of these guys work at our new building while the other 2 stay at the original location where the server with all of the drawings is located. The WAN is already in place; each network connected via T1 VPN.
We've got SolidWorks running on the computers in the new location, but it's incredibly slow even with our T1 lines. Our average file size is probably 3 meg, with some as large as 30 meg. Opening a 5 meg drawing takes 5 minutes or more! Many of the assemblies have hundreds of parts coming from a multitude of directories, so it's just not feasable to have the Engineers copy the files, work on them, and then copy them back.
I believe we need some kind of real-time mirroring software to get the results we need. That way the files would be local in either location. They could be checked out, revised, checked back in, and synchronized with the other location.
Is anybody doing this successfully? We have had some pretty pricey solutions recommended to us so far, and the last thing I need is to get cornered into some mega-complicated, super-expensive, proprietary PDM package that can't even provide us with the simple solution we need: multisite functionality. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
Andy Zuhlke Lab Tech and Network Administrator Big Joe Mfg. Co.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You might check out Conisio. It's a PDM package that would let you lock & unlock from various locations. It will also let you turn on notification for changes, etc.
WT

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andy,
What your seeing is normal T1 performance, 1.54 mbits per second.
T1 works OK for spread sheets, word doc's, and other small stuff. For multi megabyte files you need T3 5.4 mbytes per second, big $$$$$$$$.
If you had a way of stripping (al-la ecosqueeze), zipping-unzipping (transparently) at each end it would help some
Regards
Mark

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I know it exists, I don't know how well it works, but here's a link to the web demo. Many people use and like DBworks. Maybe someone who has the Enterprise edition and uses this feature can chime in.
http://62.101.95.130/mechworks/flash/RemoteAccess/RemoteAccessDemo.htm
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andy,
When SolidWorks opens a drawing it has to open all the files the drawing references and in some cases it actually modifies those files. Since SolidWorks only modifies what is in memory the opening process should be the slowest. However, if you haven't set SW to write it's journal file to the local drive and it decides to write to a network location over the T1 it will be darn slow and waste some of your precious bandwidth.
I am wondering if, when you say you have a T1, you have all the T1 bandwidth dedicated to your users? Many places I have been at have all kinds of things running across their T1, phones, users surfing the web, accounting, etc., etc. Even so, a full T1 is not going to exceed a 10baseT network. And a 10baseT network is really slow for running SW the way you do.
You really would be better having users run a local copy. The only "simple" way you can do that is to upgrade to SW office Pro and use PDMWorks to allow checkout and checkin so people won't be overwriting each other.
There was a poster on the SW forum named MonsterMaxx who claims to have gotten his network to be as fast or faster than working locally. If I recall he was running dual 100BaseT network cards and the server had a really fast RAID array in it.
If your users are in your complex why not run fiberoptics and use a gigabit network.
Andy Zuhlke wrote:

--
Node news is good news.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Guys, thanks for the suggestions. One of the first things I'll do is set the journal files to write to the local machines. I didn't even realize that was possible, so I already learned something here. I don't expect that to solve our main issue, but every little bit helps!
I took a look at the DBworks demo... Anybody using that? It looks like exactly what I had in mind, if it does what it says it does - Keeps the files on the same LAN as the users, and then updates to other networks when they are done with their modifications. Can somebody give me an idea of what this costs?
Thanks Again,
AZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andy Zuhlke wrote:

IIRC, licenses for each workstation are $500 apiece and an administrator's license (independent from SolidWorks) is either $200 or $300. Your mileage may vary, especially if you are not in the US.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.