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Top 10 Performance Tips for Autodesk Vault

By Darren Hartenstine

When Autodesk Vault is running smoothly, things are great, right?  Designers and Engineers are working on new designs or changes and checking them into Vault.  The rest of the company is consuming this data and parts are being manufactured.

It’s when things go wrong with the Autodesk Data Management Server (ADMS) that a company realizes the catastrophic potential of a dysfunctional Vault.  I am going to write a few blogs on choosing the right computer hardware and implementing correct practices that will hopefully limit or eradicate downtime and improve performance.

#1 – ADMS System Backup

OK, so this isn’t going to make your Vault fast, but if your ADMS server goes down and there’s no Backup, you will lose data and time.

I’ve written about this before in a previous blog called “Is your Vault Safe?”  But I think I need to reiterate the point again….Backup, Backup, Backup, Backup…..and, Backup.  If you’re not backing up your Vault, then there is the potential to suffer from lost work or in extreme situations, you could lose everything.  And when I say backing up your Vault, I mean through the ADMS console or the equivalent command line option that can be run through a batch file. 

#2 – 64bit Windows Operating System

Running a 64bit Windows Server operating system will allow up to utilize more system RAM for the various applications that are running on your Server.  If you have a 32bit Windows Server Operating System, than you can only address 2GB, unless you enable the 3GB switch.

There are many components to the ADMS Server that tend to use as much memory as your server can spare.  Microsoft SQL can become a memory hog and use anywhere from 1GB to 7GB+ (64bit version of SQL) of RAM.  I’ve seen the W3WP.EXE service consume up to 2GB (32bit Application Limitation) of RAM and cause performance issues on the Server.

Even though the ADMS software is still a 32bit application, running it on a 64bit server will allow your system RAM to be shared more efficiently. 

I will discuss how to enable to 3GB switch in the Tips and Techniques posting later on.

#3 – RAM

When it comes to configuring a Server, get at least 4GB of RAM for a 32bit Windows Server OS and a minimum of 8GB of RAM for a 64bit Windows Server OS.  When you are making the purchase of RAM, it is best to get 2GB to 4GB paired sticks to install into the server.  If you get 1GB sticks of RAM, you will run out of slots quickly.  This is also important when initially building your server.  I know that Dell and HP will install 1GB sticks to get you to 8GB, since they’re cheaper.

If you ever decide to upgrade and all slots are full, you will need to pull the RAM and install the new ones.  If you can’t repurpose the RAM, you’ve wasted money.

You’re going to hear this a lot in the next few blogs, but make the initial investment in time and money to get your server configured correctly.  It’s not something I can quantify, but more RAM makes for a faster server, which can equate to faster transactions…and happier Vault users.

#4 – Hard Drives

I am going to talk about Hard Drives in my next blog, since I feel it needs the most attention and will also be a longer posting.

 #5 – Microsoft SQL

#6 – SQL Maintenance

#7 – ADMS Installation

#8 – Tips and Techniques

#9 – Networks / Load Balancing

#10 – What Else is Running on your Server?



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