Tuesday, December 09, 2014

AutoCAD and Network: Why so slow?

This is some of my musings on the IT systems in my office. I will you take down the rabbit hole of why our office network is slow. (Spoiler: I have no idea). These are basically notes to myself to record what I decided at a certain point in time and figure out if any improvement happened. That said, if anyone stumbles on this site and has some insights it would be greatly appreciated.

Over the years in our office we have adopted the incredibly useful AutoCAD tool called Sheet Set Manager. However as you add references to your drawings and link everything up (I've learned to do this towards the end of the project) it really slows down AutoCAD.

Over the years I've searched online for solutions to this but only recently did I stumble on this page. Yes, it turns out that Autodesk is acknowledging that it is slow and they blame it on slow network speeds.

I have followed their advice and now disabled the auto refresh (which will be annoying, no doubt) using the SSMSHEETSTATUS system variable set to '0' and I will report back with any speed increases I find.

BUT the second issue I'd love to address is our network speed. We use a standard peer to peer network with Cat5E cables. The computers are all set up for gigabit speeds but I doubt we actually get it. I am unsure as to what the bottleneck in our network actually is. I used to think that it was the hard drives with all our data (and this post seems to confirm that) but I have my doubts now.

I'd love to know of a good way to test network speeds if anyone stumbles on this site and knows an easy way to do that..... I found this software but do I trust it?

I'm also wondering if switching to a Synology drive system would speed it up.
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