8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 28, 2015 1:43 PM by Brian Titus

    EPDM on virtual server

    John Giordano

      I am understanding from posts and forums that it seems EPDM in a virtual world is not the best idea from a performance standpoint. Note that I am not talking about using any virtual Windows 7 or 8 workstations to run the SW client and that this discussion is purely for a successful installation and operation of Enterprise PDM on a virtual server connected to physical workstations running SW14. Can anyone answer the following:


      1. What is the final word from SW concerning EPDM running off a virtual server?
      2. One of the reasons for wanting to get EPDM on a virtual server is that I have noticed that EPDM’s utilization on our current physical server is around 10 - 15% and I want to be smarter about under-utilized resources. If it is not recommended to install on a virtual server then what is the end all be all perfect mix server platform for EPDM?
        • Server OS? I want tried and true and tested. I also want to stay current with my server OS’s at the same time. But if it means that 2012R2 is sketchy at best, I don’t want anything to do with it.
        • Server hardware? I don’t want minimum requirements here. I want what use guys with specifics like Xeon vs. other Xeons, spindle drives vs. SSDs, and best RAID setup to maximize I/O’s.
        • Connected workstations? Again, no minimum requirements. I want what you guys use. What video cards ACTUALLY work ALL the time? SSD vs spindle? Xeon vs. i7? And please no one send me a link to the SW supported video card section of the site. We all know its there and that half those cards don't actually perform well.


      Thanks in advance for any advice.

        • Re: EPDM on virtual server
          Gary Radish



          We have EPDM running on virtual server. With 230-280 users on at all times.

          • Re: EPDM on virtual server
            Joe Aisawa

            Hi John,


            SolidWorks does not officially support Enterprise PDM on virtual environements.

            See here: http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/11168_ENU_HTML.htm


            'Due to the many configurations and wide variety of virtual environments, Network Attached Storage devices (NAS), and Storage Area Network (SAN) appliances, it is not possible for SolidWorks to replicate all the permutations.SolidWorks products are therefore not supported on virtual environments, NAS and SAN appliances.



            Known Issues

            • The use of replication capabilities available with NAS and SAN devices may interfere with the Enterprise PDM Archive server replication.
            • Virtual environments force SolidWorks, eDrawings, and DraftSight to run in Software OpenGL mode resulting in significant graphics performance degradation.'



            Many companies run EPDM on virtual servers without issue but SolidWorks does not support it because of the reasons stated above.


            Kind Regards,



              • Re: EPDM on virtual server
                Selvakumar Dj

                Dual 3.00 GHz Intel Xeon, (Hyper-Treaded)

                Windows Server 2003,

                450 + 450 GB of Data and Vault data

                Current setup done in WAN, along with Read-Hat WAN Accelerator, SAND Box, With Harware Fire wall.

                Plan to change this server to Windows Server 2008 along with Virtual environment, 2011 to 2014 SW migration also planned.

                Same server will be SW license server.

                400 users aprox.

                What is your recommendation?

              • Re: EPDM on virtual server
                Michael Kress



                I can agree with Gary.  I have been running EPDM since 2009 on a virtual server with no real issues.  This of course will be hardware dependent, so make sure you have good stable hardware.  We are currently managing roughly 150K files in the vault, and the cached size of the vault is roughly 38GB.  I'm sure other users have more data than that, but we don't have have any known issues due to the virtual machine and dozens of users accessing the files. 


                While Virtual servers are not officially supported, I have not received any flack from our VAR when EPDM issues come up.  Those issues typically have been minor (SQL and EPDM) over the years, nothing related back to the virtual machine.   


                In my opinion there are several benefits to running EPDM on a virtual server. 

                1.  If a physical server needs repairs or replacing it is really easy to move the virtual server to another physical machine and keep the company buzzing along.

                2  When doing major version upgrades (SQL or EPDM) we have all users check in files, shut the machine down, and make a backup copy of the hard drives.  This provides a real quick and simple way to roll back if something goes bad during the upgrade.  With good hardware making copies of these 300-500Gb drives is fairly quick.  Of course this doesn't replace the need for proper backups, but it is a nice feature. 

                3. You can easily afford to to have only EPDM installed on this "computer" with no other programs to interfere with it. 


                Physical Server:

                Dell Power Edge R710

                Windows Server 2008 R2

                Xeon X5550 @2.67GHz (2 Processors)

                24GB of RAM

                Dell PowerVault SANs with SAS rotating drives


                Virtual EPDM server:

                Windows Server 2008 R2

                4 Cores

                4GB of RAM


                The other virtual servers on this box use the other resources


                Workstations vary slightly based on when it was purchased, but all of them are from the Dell Precision series.  Since I began using SW in 2006 I have learned to buy the best video card you can afford, even if it costs more than the workstation.  The other thing I've learned go with dual quad cores. 


                Windows 7 x64

                SW 14

                A few are single quad cores, but most are dual quad cores.  Xeon for the older ones, i7's on the newer ones. 

                12GB of RAM

                Nvidia K5000's in most of them 

                500GB Velociraptor spindle drives in most of them (once the price of SSD come down a bit we will move here)

                1Gb connections back to the servers for most of them


                This workstation works well for our needs, which are:


                1.  Our typical assemblies range from 100-50,000 parts.


                2.  We do a mix of industrial machine modeling, sheetmetal, custom plastic molded housings, and custom designed circuits boards used in those machines. 


                3.  For documentation detail and housing design, we typical import the full PCB with CircuitWorks with fairly detailed parts.  Those tend to be our most demanding subassembly models since one assembly might have upwards of 5,000 parts.  Then of course, once you add dozens of these assemblies into a final top level assembly thing can get hairy, but this hardware combo typical works well for us. 


                Best of luck,


                • Re: EPDM on virtual server
                  Selvakumar Dj

                  We have implemented Virtual EPDM server for nearly 300 users: It is working fine for the past five Month's. Thank you all for the time and valuable feedback.