CAD

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Oct 8 22:31:50 EDT 2003


On Thu, 9 Oct 2003, Manoj Gupta wrote:

> Hello,
> 
> One of my clients has asked me to provide a solution for his AutoCAD
> work.
> The minimum file size on which he works is nearly of 400 MB and it takes
> 15-20 minutes to load on his single system.

Load from what into what?  It is hard for me to see how a 400 MB file
could take this long to load into memory over any modern channel, as
this is less than 0.5 MB/sec.  This is roughly the bandwidth one
achieves throwing floppies across a room one at a time by hand.

That is, I can't imagine how this is bandwidth limited, unless the
client has primitive hardware.  From a local disk (even a bad one) this
should take ballpark of a few seconds to load into memory.  From NFS
order of a minute or three (in most configurations, less on faster
networks).

If the load is so slow because the program is crunching the file as it
loads it (reading a bit, thinking a bit, reading a bit more) then
nothing can speed this up unless AutoCAD has a parallel version of their
program.

> Can Beowulf be used to solve this problem and minimize the time required
> so as to improve productivity?

I don't know for sure (although somebody else on the list might).  I
doubt it, though, unless autocad has a parallel version that can use a
linux cluster to speed things up.

However, your first step in answering it for yourself is going to be
doing measurements to determine what the bottleneck is.  If it is I/O
then invest in better I/O (perhaps a better network).  So measure e.g.
the network load if it is getting the file from a network file server.

If the problem is that the file is coming from a winXX server with too
little memory on an antique CPU and with creaky old disks on a 10 Mbps
hub, well, FIRST replace the winxx with linux, the old server with a new
server, the old disks with new disks, the 10 BT with 1000 BT.  At that
point you won't have a bandwidth problem, as the server should be able
to deliver files at some tens of MB/sec pretty easily.  If the problem
persists, try to figure out what autocad is doing when it loads.

   rgb

> 
> 
> Sawan Gupta || mg_india at sancharnet.in ||
> 
> 
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-- 
Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu



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