We know that using a Revit server can be challenging. Our customers often ask us how Revit Servers will evolve in the future, or will they still be necessary when solutions, such as A360 or BIM360, are available?
Considering alternatives to Revit Servers
Solutions, such as A360 or BIM360 offer basic file storage and some sort of collaboration. In each case, however, you have to upload and download your files from a local workstation to your cloud solution or datacenter.
Let’s explain this via a typical use case. John and Daisy work on a project together. John works in London and Daisy in Barcelona.
To get started, John and Daisy download a centrally stored model, for example, stored in A360. Each engineer works on their specific parts of the project.
In this situation, they both work locally on their respective file which has no relationship with the other team members. They save the latest changes as they go, and a final version when each finishes. But inevitably, conflicts may arise between different versions of the same file.
Each time an engineer hits the save button, he/she has to upload and download the file from the cloud. This is no problem when there’s a very high-speed internet connection, or the size of the model is not too large.
But what if they’re using a slower DSL connection? Or the model gets more complex? Have you ever tried to repeatedly upload and download a large file of multiple hundreds of megabytes? It takes a lot of time.
So we need to find a better solutions by transferring not only the data to the cloud, but also the processing power.
Real-time collaboration with a virtual Revit Server
So what if we decide to use a Revit Server instead of A360, and store everything in the cloud? By “everything”, we mean not only the Revit Server, but also the complete CAD workstation! So the processing will now be done in a data center (cloud).
Instead of a heavy-duty PC workstation, each worker now uses a virtualized workstation with unlimited graphics power (GPU) from cloud. Cloudalize offers virtual workstations that run in the cloud and used on any device via the internet. It’s like a “Citrix environment” on XTC, instantly deployable and GPU-powered for additional graphics power.
So now we have the Revit Server (with the data) and the Revit workstations in the cloud. As a result, everyone is now connected in real-time with Revit Server.
The result is that:
- You can synchronise a cloud workstation and a Revit Server in the same cloud. This allows high-speed data transfer (over 40Gbps). Minutes of data transfer are reduced to less than one second.
- You can work on the same centrally stored data on one Revit server. No more downloading of 3D models locally (which is also more secure of course).
- You can instantly add additional users dedicated to a specific project environment.
- Any offices or external team members who still want their private environment can remain separate – hybrid scenarios are possible.
We are sure that design and collaboration on BIM models will be fully cloud-based in the future. And “cloud computing” will become just ‘computing’. This transfers your whole IT infrastructure to the cloud to work with virtual workstations for Revit, ArchiCAD, etc. The technology gives you a native design experience on any device, in a heavily secured environment.