2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 14, 2019 2:21 PM by Paul Wyndham

    Optimal Setup for PDM Servers Using Virtual Machines

    Jim Sculley

      We currently use PDM Pro 2017 and have two virtual machines (running on the same physical machine) to host the archive and database servers.  These servers were cloned from two old separate physical severs and each VM was given resources (cores, memory, disk space, etc) matching the old physical server. 


      These virtualized servers are still running Windows Server 2008 R2.  We plan to upgrade to SW/PDM 2018 or 2019, but before doing so, we need to upgrade the servers to Windows Server 2012 R2 at a minimum.  To achieve this, we would most likely set up one or two brand new VMs.  We would like to set things up for the best possible performance, so I was wondering if those of you out there running PDM in a virtualized environment could comment on your setup. Specifically:


      1. Do you have both servers (DB and Archive) running in one VM?  If not, are your two VMs running on the same physical machine? 
      2. Are your physical servers located on your premises or do they live in a data center?  If in a data center, do you notice any network speed problems?
        • Re: Optimal Setup for PDM Servers Using Virtual Machines
          Charley Saint

          Hey Jim,


          Probably better to go ahead and pay the price for Server 2016, PDM 2019 is the last to support/install on Server 2012R2.


          SOLIDWORKS | Hardware & System Requirements | SOLIDWORKS


          Performance wise, you're never going to get the same performance out of a VM that you will from bare metal. That being said you'll probably never notice the difference either. We run ours out of a data center 5ms away and don't have any noticeable issues. We tried running from one 35ms away and it was a bit of a nightmare. The archive server and database server don't talk to each other very much so they can easily be multi-hosted. I've rarely run into an instance where the machine hosting SQL/EPDM was the cause of performance issues, even in orgs with several hundred engineers so don't get too caught up on it. Just make sure you're SQL server has access to SSD's or preferably NVMe disks, and keep up with the maintenance on your DB's and you should be fine.

          • Re: Optimal Setup for PDM Servers Using Virtual Machines
            Paul Wyndham

            In the past I had VMs running on the Amazon cloud (IT had it setup for a private hosting configuration). The servers were in California and we didn't have issues connecting to them. The users connected to their local archive servers not the main server at AWS. The data server worked really good and didn't have any issues. IT even eventually lowered me from 6 cores down to 4 because it never used that many.


            Having the servers on VMs means that you can do things like have fail over recovery. That way if the hardware goes down they can immediately bring it back up on different hardware. SQL server keeps as much data in memory that it can, so make sure you put a limit on the amount it can use so that it doesn't make Windows run out. I saw in the past where SQL used most of it and Windows got bogged down using swap memory.


            There are some stipulations on the setup of the VM for the SNL but I don't think those apply to the Archive and data server. I don't have access to those stipulations anymore since that was left with my previous employer. If you are going to have the archive server that the user use at an offsite location make sure it is close and try to get a LAN connection to it so that the large data sets can be gotten quickly.