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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How to Improve Solid Edge Network Performance

If you feel that opening and saving is taking too long over the network – meaning you store and use your files on a network drive, the this is a simple setting change that at no cost to you can improve your speed ….

It is CRITICAL that all cards, switches etc from the client machines to the server be all set the exact same – 1 GB and full duplex.  Every single thing in the chain from the computer to the server must be set the same and they should be 1 GB full duplex for the best performance.  Auto negotiate should not be used.  We have many accounts where this took the time to open large assemblies from being measured in hours to being measured in minutes.  We have a guy that has traveled to France and Australia just to ensure that these settings were all the same and all he did was change auto negotiate to 1 GB full duplex.  He personally witnessed the difference of 45 minutes on an assembly around your same size to 2 minutes with only that change made.  But again all the settings for every single thing from the client to the server including NIC cards and switches must be the same setting of 1 GB full duplex.

I personally witnessed this with a customer.

From my customer:

“I believe our speed issue is now resolved. We found a new network card and installed on a client machine. Speed was set at 1GB full duplex, same as the server. “

They bought NIC cards for 60 dollars for 2 machines because they did not have 1GB capability on those cards.  Typically, the IT dept does not want to use full duplex,  but I actually saw that this myself that this was the only change we made – auto to full duplex and it went from unable to make an unmanaged copy because it was too slow and would time out (The model I used to do this time study has 3762 files and total size of all the files is 853 MB.) to being able to create it.  The opening of the model in work in progress from the 32 minutes to down to 4 minutes.

If you could do some time tests and get the numbers to compare, then you can tell you if this will help you.  It is an inexpensive and easy thing to change even just to test.  I will be glad to help you if you want to send me some numbers, I can tell you quickly if make this simple setting change will help your speed.

As the system is now and just testing between the hard drive and the network …
  1.   Find a very large assembly of about 5000 parts or as big as you can get
  2.   Use create unmanaged copy in view and markup to copy that to the local hard drive and also to a   network drive that is unmanaged
  3. Also create a zip of that assembly that was copied to the local hard drive
  4. Fill out the chart below using a stopwatch (there are many online)

Hard Drive
Open large assembly

Make change and save large assembly

Open large draft

Update view in large draft

Save large draft

Copy zip of large assembly and use windows explorer to paste the zip file to location on network unmanaged where Solid Edge files are located

Madison Rye
Application Engineering Manager
Ally PLM Solutions, Inc. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Thumbnail cache helping with cannot save file issue

If you are using Windows 7 and have a “cannot save file error” after you are working in your Solid Edge file that is stored on a mapped network drive and are trying to save, then you need to turn off the thumbnail cache.

With the release of ST4, we have learned about a Windows settings directly related to Save failures, and may also impact performance . The  setting ‘Turn off caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db file’ needs to be enabled (
  • At the windows start menu, type gpedit.msc in the search programs and files box which takes you into the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Navigate to User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Explorer
  • On the right, right-click "Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files" and edit.
  • Change to Enabled and reboot the computer.

This should resolve that issue.  Please contact me ( for more information.

Madison Rye
Application Engineering Manager
Ally PLM Solutions

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How does your company manage product data?

There are things that I see at every company without data management...files are stored out on a network drive, employees are not sure which version of a file is the latest and sometimes having to redo work, employees are working on the same assembly at the same time causing rework, manufacturing is working from print or a pdf without having the benefit of 3D, and finding out why a prior engineering change order was created involves finding a packet or file folder somewhere in a filing cabinet.  If you don’t have a data management system, you are probably shaking your head up and down right now knowing that some or all of these issues occur at your company, but you don’t have the time or money to fix them.

These are the reasons that Insight, product data management (PDM) tool, was created.  Insight licenses come free with Solid Edge Classic so only the installation costs money.  I can minimize downtime by working out the details on my virtual machine before I even go to install the software.  I have installed Insight for Solid Edge at companies with the issues discussed above and have seen the following major benefits at every company:

  • Searchable history – search tools are extremely fast and easy to use
  • Security – the right people get access to the right data at the right time – only allow manufacturing access to released data
  • Single source of data – check in and check out policy
  • Instantaneous access to information – as soon as a change is made - it is flagged as new in the system
  • Seamless integration – do not have to learn a new software package 

Solid Edge Insight is based on Microsoft SharePoint, the leading business productivity solution that brings information management and access, collaboration and people-driven processes into a familiar environment where people do their work every day. The all new Insight for Solid Edge ST5 is Solid Edge Insight XT. Insight XT builds on 10 years of technical leadership and customer success in the area of Microsoft SharePoint-based CAD file management with Solid Edge Insight. This entry-level solution for managing Solid Edge files was first introduced in 2001, and has been deployed by more than 1,000 customers. Find out more about how Solid Edge customers have improved their CAD data management over the last 10 years.

Join me for a webinar on August 28, 2012 from 10AM-11AM EST covering Solid Edge Insight: Learn how to manage your Solid Edge data with software you already have.

Madison Rye
Application Engineering Manager
Ally PLM Solutions