20 Replies Latest reply on Apr 25, 2017 4:04 PM by Marcus Merideth

    distributed computing

    Marcus Merideth

      Any news on the timing for this feature?  Was supposed to be in 2016 and info on website.




      Distributed Computing for Simulation Solver







      Distributed Computing for Simulation allows Product Engineers using SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional or SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium to take advantage of idle resources of other networked computers for boosting the productivity of the engineering team.


      Distributed computing provides the opportunity to set up simulation that can run over many computers linked together via a communication network. By launching the distributed simulation network client, Product Engineers can:

      • Offload tasks from your computer and run simulation on other computers on the network
      • Run larger simulations
      • Improve performance
      • Node computers connected to the coordinator computer on the same network domain
      • SOLIDWORKS Simulation Network Client installed on the coordinator and node computers connected on the same network domain
      Would really like to use it if available.
        • Re: distributed computing
          Justin Zunker

          I hope this functionality is also added to large assembly modeling.  We will regularly use our large assemblies (5,000 to 15,000+ components) with SW for design validation when a new kit/assembly is designed for a machine.  Most of the time it will take an hour to open, rebuild & save to update the top-level assembly model.

          • Re: distributed computing
            Janko Stellaard

            The (greyed out) button for it dissappeared in the latest SP of 2016.


            Maybe Julien Boissat can tell us more about it?


            Janko Stellaard

            Cadmes BV

            The Netherlands

              • Re: distributed computing
                Julien Boissat

                This functionality is not currently available in SOLIDWORKS Simulation.


                It was originally planned for SOLIDWORKS 2016. During the Beta period, it became clear that the implementation did not meet our standard of quality. So it was removed. It is currently not possible to say if or when it will be available and in what form.


                Cordialement / Best Regards,


                Julien BOISSAT

                Expert, Technical Customer Support - SOLIDWORKS Simulation


                Dassault Systèmes

              • Re: distributed computing
                Roland Schwarz

                A promise made too soon. The nature of most FEA algorithms makes it impractical to distribute the solving process.

                • Re: distributed computing
                  Boyko Tchavdarov

                  We need distributed computing mostly for Flow Simulation where the runs go much longer but large size Simulation Model need it, too.  The distributed computing could be with shared RAM  (Solver shares RAM on different workstations) or dedicated RAM (Solver uses the RAM of a single Workstation on the Network).  The shared RAM required mesh-partitioning (not available neither with Simulation nor with Flow Simulation) and it is very beneficial for large models which cannot fit within a single PC RAM. I have tried Flow Simulation distributed computing on dedicated RAM by SW2012 using several high tech Desktops in our office over night when they stay idle but I could say it was very troublesome and the runs often crqshed without being able to be continued form the previous results. Since SW2013 a different Solver thread was introduced which become independent of the SW session thread and I have not tried distributed computing - I expect more troubles than with SW2012 because the number of Solvers on the Server  (the workstation launching the solver) is limited to only two (see the discussion in the General Section), and  I am not sure that the distributed computing works at all with SW2013 or later version. If anyone  has experience with Flow Simulation Distributed Computing with SW2013 or later version please share it under this discussion,


                  The ultimate solution is running Analysis on a Cluster of CPU nodes rather than distributing the runs on Desktops on the Network.

                    • Re: distributed computing
                      Grant Chapman



                      I have not had to use this for Flow Simulation as I do not yet have Solidwork's Flow software but would love to try it out if I get a project that requires it. I have used Autodesk's CFD Flex and Simulation Mechanical Flex software in the past with great success and have recently moved over to Solidworks. I have a reasonably powerful workstation (4.25Ghz quad core, 32GB ram, Quadrok4000) But we are trying to run some non-linear, transient, no-penetration, high acceleration, hyper elastic material model simulations that was pushing the simulation well outside of the realm that my workstation could handle. So I tried to emulate the remote solve options that are in Autodesk's flex products on my own . In the Autodesk Software it allows you to hit a single button when ready to solve that will upload the model to an Autodesk Server on the cloud, mesh the model, and solve the simulation using their resources. Then just let you download the results when it's all solved. This way you could not only use a much more powerful server class computer to solve your results but it also allowed you to solve unlimited simultaneous simulations and still have full use of your workstation. It actually worked quite well for large simulations or simulations where you wanted to compare a large number of variations in either inputs or geometry in a small amount of time. Alas Solidworks didn't have this so I had to improvise. I have a network license for Solidworks Premium and Solidworks simulation Premium. What I did was set of the simulation on my workstation as I usually would. Do a pack and go on it. Then I created a spot instance on Amazon's EC2 service. (32core 2.5Ghz 256GB Ram) I installed a copy of Solidworks, and then used a VPN Tunnel to dial into my office and upload my network license to the EC2 Server that was running solidworks. Then I uploaded the pack and go from my workstation with the simulation all set up. Opened it and hit run. Keep in mind I am not using the view results options so it can solve in its own .exe outside of solidworks. This way I can not only run multiple simulations at the same time. Once they are all running, I can shut down solidworks, and check in my license back to my local network so I can use Solidworks on my workstation.


                      Maybe this option can help some of you guys solve the more resource thirsty simulations without having to build your own supercomputer. As the EC2 instances only cost $.25-$1.5 an hour to run depending on how big a machine you want and what time of day it is (the pricing is all bid/usage based. So make sure you put in a significantly high bid otherwise they'll shut down your server if you get outbid and loose all the data that is on it). So far it has worked out really well for us. Maybe Solidworks could take a look at this process/model and create a little GUI/integration within Solidworks Simulation that automatically sets this up for customers who don't have coworkers like mine that are total IT nerds and give them a quick, easy, and dirty way to compete with Autodesk's Simulation Flex offerings without really having to build any back end because Amazon already has done it with EC2.





                        • Re: distributed computing
                          Marcus Merideth

                          That is beyond my IT skills and I only have one license but maybe somebody will take your suggestion to heart.

                          • Re: distributed computing
                            Bill McEachern

                            That's brilliant. Yes they should do that but I suspect they will not.  Was what was done here within the terms of the end user license agreement?

                            You guys should consider setting up an app to package it up and run it on EC2, take a small slice of the running time charges (ie buy some bulk time from EC2 and then charge a premium to avoid bidding and possible solve failure from that). of course this is a bit fanciful given the very weak data structure of Swx sim. I had one recently on a big model where the stress plot returned the often enjoyed "database not found" but the displacement plot worked fine. I couldn't figure that one out. Just copied the study and it started behaving but had to re-solve which took like 3 hours - small displacement contact problem 3.5 MDOF or so. You should submit a paper for Swx world on how you and your guys set this up. Anyway, nice work.

                        • Re: distributed computing
                          Janko Stellaard



                          Thanks for the very usefull information!

                          • Re: distributed computing
                            Marcus Merideth

                            Has anybody tried the new off loading option for simulation?  I cannot seem to make it work.


                              • Re: distributed computing
                                Julien Boissat



                                Yes, it's working on my machines.

                                Should you need any help, you should contact your reseller, because troubleshooting the ‘Offloaded Simulation’ functionality requires gathering information about your computers and network settings..

                                A few tips though:

                                1. You need a network with a domain , not a workgroup. Also, the use of virtual machines, Wifi and VPN may disrupt the communication between the computers.

                                2. Running SOLIDWORKS as administrator may help


                                If you are looking for a troubleshooting guide to better understand what could go wrong, and how to diagnose problems, see Solution Id: S-072063 which answers this question: In the SOLIDWORKS® Simulation software, how do I troubleshoot issues with the ‘Intel Network Sparse’ solver ‘Offloaded Simulation’ functionality?