Autodesk Deployment to Multiple Machines
I tried posting this out on the Autodesk forum, but never got any replies. I'm hoping someone here can help me - I wouldn't mind trying to deploy this with the K1000 unit we have.
I'm deploying Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium and Navisworks Manage to 30+ people with a mixture of laptops and desktops and need help.
The desktops are brand new Dell Precision T3610 models (CAD certified) and the laptops are Precision M6800. They all have excellent specs.
- The desktops have a high option xeon, 2 SSD drives, Windows 7, and 32Gb Ram. The second SSD is for the swap file and temp cad files.
- The laptops are all top of the line i7s, SSD drives, Windows 7, and 16Gb+ Ram.
- Our servers are all brand new and were just put in this past January - They are very high specced as well.
- The only thing we haven't tried yet is configuring NIC teaming on the server so we can take advantage of all 4 of the network ports.
Here's some of our site info:
We have 2-3 sites that the deployment runs to. There are several computers at our local office (same office as the server) and those installs go fairly quick, but the other 2 remote sites take forever to finish (obviously a lot of the wait is because the install is traveling from site to site). The process usually takes about 2 full days, sometimes 3 depending on if we run into any trouble. This last time we tried to copy the deployment over to a machine at the remote site and run it from there, but that ended up not working for some reason. So the installs were delayed and took longer because I had to run the install from site to site. I think that it was because of some of the deployment files not copying over correctly, but I was scambling at that point to get it installed so I never got to figure out the reason for it failing.
- Local site install time estimate: 8hrs+
- Remote site installs 1 day+
For the local site I checked on the network speed and the machines are connecting at 1Gb to the switches, and the CAT6 network cable in the wall checks out fine - So I don't undestand what the long wait time is.
That includes the install, any additional autdesk updates, and checking the install after it is done.
Here's what I'm doing with the deployment:
- I download the latest autodesk software and put it all on our shared network folder on our inhouse CAD server
- I use one of our spare CAD machines and create a deployment that has all of our product keys, serial numbers, any updates, service packs, etc. in it
- I install the deployment on 2 machines to make sure that everything works properly before deploying it out to everyone
As a note the deployment size this last time was about 90Gb in size.
Here's what I've been doing for the past 2 years:
- Start by using the uninstall tool to get rid of all the old software (We started this mid day on everyone's machines)
- After this we rebooted and made sure all the old software was uninstalled and that we were ready to install the new Autodesk products
- We ran the deployment to all computers from our CAD server off it's Autodesk Deployment shared folder.
- by this time it was late so I would go home and check the installs around 8pm to make sure it was still running, and then I would check them again one last time at midnight, and hope they would finish by morning. The next morning about 6am I would get up and see if everything finished and then install any other 3rd party software to attach to Autocad. Usually that finishes within a few hours and everything is ready to go by about lunch time. (This is for the remote sites) Our local site usually finished everything at about 10pm - that was with a start time of about right after lunch.
I tried to include all the info I could think of so if I missed anything let me know.
Here were some of my thoughts:
- What if we copied all of the installs to each machine hard drive ( Under the root of C:\ ) and ran them from there? Instead of creating a deployment
- What if we did first thought, but did each computer a few at a time over a week? would the 2015 autocad users still be able to work and edit autocad files if the 2016 users edited the same files?
- Could we use our kacebox (Dell K1000) to deploy the install? If so can we trigger the kacebox to do the uninstall and the install? Would it use the deployment? if so how?
- If we can't use the kacebox is there any other deployment software (that's free) do the autocad uninstall and deployment and be able to schedule only a few machines at a time at night while no one is at work?
I had someone tell me a while back at their old company they would leave their computers on that night (leave at regular time 5pm), come back in the morning (8am), reboot their machine, and it would go through a configuration stage of about 20 minutes (similar to the windows update configuration screen after updates). After that they logged in and all their new icons were on the desktop and all the old icons were gone. Since then the employee has left and never gave me any contact info for him or his previous company I never got a chance to see what they were doing.
Any advice or recommendations would be creatly appreciated. I'm at a loss of what to do at this point - I tried to contact Autodesk support about this, but basically all I get is "Use the deployment and follow our instructions online" which helps me none because that's what I'm doing now and it's not working fast enough.