From One user to Two

I may finally get some help. I have been using Solid Edge as a single user on a single machine for three years.


Computer: Boxx 4.5 Ghz, 32 gig ram, K 4200 Raid-0 3.5 ms Solid State drive.


Here is the question.

What is the path of least resistance to have two CAD stations work on one set of file? 


Pier to Pier

Both work from the same USB drive?


Right now I'm thinking pier to pier with gigabit fiber network between. One of the two computers will take a hit to service the files of the other. A good raid controller and an extra two CPU's should handle that.


I would like to maintain all the speed possible. Yet minimize the cost.

The reason for the added person is that we plan to start nesting our flat patterns electronicly. Right now it's done manually at the punch or plasma software. 


In general, what are the correct growth steps for a CAD system from 1 to 2 users?

Another workstation +4K, another seat +2K/year

Will a $3,000 server do the trick? if so, what brand and model?

Anything more than a 20% speed hit from the single machine is not desired.


Most of my CAD files are in about the 20 Meg of unique files. Some are 100 Megs w/ 1000 parts.


Also worth note, it will not be a managed system as I still need to find a method to tie the part names to assembly names automatically. Right now I have over 1000 files called B1 (Body 1) that is the first piece of assembly driven sheet metal in each design.



Re: From One user to Two

[ Edited ]

I would just get a self-sufficient NAS device to use as your file server.


Buffalo is a common brand and pretty reliable hardware, but their service is terrible.

Netgear and QNAP are decent.

If you already run Dell or HP machines in addition to your BOXX workstation, you may be able to find something direct from them.

--Scott Wertel, P.E.

Re: From One user to Two

Hi @12GAGE,


The only caution regarding using a NAS [as we do, here], is the lack of support for the new fast search tools, as it is not a Windows native server.


If nobody else on your network is going to be accessing the data files, then a simple "file share" structure would be OK, I'd think......multi-core CPU's will cope quite happily with this. [maybe use a dedicated NAC to be sure CPU bandwidth isn't being taxed too heavily] You may not even notice any file IO difference.

Remembering, network speed is governed by it's weakest link.


My NZ$0.02  Robot wink


Sean Cresswell
Design Manager Streetscape Limited
Solid Edge ST10 [MP0] Classic [x2 seats]
Windows 10

Re: From One user to Two

I'm with @SeanCresswell.  Just use a shared folder off of one PC.  Guessing you already have 4 physical (8 virtual) cores.  You shouldn't need any more since SE for the most part uses one.  File access will be intermittent between the two of you and isn't constant (big read when opening, small writes when saving).


The NAS device is nice if you would rather not do the shared folder, but like @SeanCresswell said, it won't allow you to use the

FAST search stuff in SE unless it happens to be Windows based.


Production: ST9 MP7
Testing: ST10

Re: From One user to Two

dont forget that with ST9 there is a new OOTB Data Management tool!


Matt Johnson
Solid Edge Certified Professional (ST7 & ST8)
Solid Edge ST9 (SEEC) - Production
NX10 (Tc Integration) Pre-Production Testing
Teamcenter 10.1.6

Re: From One user to Two

Dropbox is pretty great.  1000GB for about $100/yr, and you never need to worry about backups again since your files will be synced to at least 3 places constantly, including off-site in the cloud.  The .selock file scheme seems to work as intended to keep from overwriting work, without a lot of complexity.

Lab Machinist Solutions, LLC
Waltham, MA, USA

Re: From One user to Two

GrabCAD is free with unlimited data, and is also nice.


With GrabCAD desktop, you can use the fast search and built-in data management tools because the data is synched to your local drive.  You setup the fast-search options on each client's GrabCAD folder.

--Scott Wertel, P.E.

Re: From One user to Two

My current PC is only 2 cores.


It sound like this would work:

I will add a PC w/ 4 or 6 cores and it will act as the server.

If I get the new computer w/ a Gigabyte Net work card in addition to a 100T card. And add a Gigabyte card to the existing computer. Then both can be on the network for internet and file share, and talk to each other using it's own network. I will also add a deticated Riad controller to the new computer.


My entire set of cad data consists of 40 GB across 63,000 files.

Very few "duplicate" files. But many files are the same name....other issue.

The good thing about being a single user, I have kept the file in shape and organized w/ no fat.


If I get the new computer w/ a Gigabyte Net work card in addition to a 100T card. And add

Re: From One user to Two

[ Edited ]

My current machine is an APEX 2. It's 4 core machine.


Our network is VERY old 100T. It can't handle any CAD traffic.


The BOXX CAD systems run a bit under 5K

I could upgrade it where it could also be used as a server for CAD for about 3K. The big cost upgrade is going to SCSI drives & Adaptech for two way traffic, that in turn effects the mother board, power, etc.


NAS appears to be a much more cost effective solution. I would just add a second NIC card to both machines for the NAS.


NAS stands for Netowrk attache storage. Perhaps I'm thinking about this wrong. I want a solution that is NOT attached to our netowrk. I just want to have two CAD stations connected to a single drive of files. 


What NAS have any of you use with success that has at least two RJ-45 plugs on it? If not RJ-45 plugs, what format cable are you useing between multiple computers and the NAS?


I must keep all CAD file traffic off our existing network. The network bairly keeps up w/ what the other people in the office do right now.

Re: From One user to Two

Hi @12GAGE,




You always can connect Your two computers to the NAS via a separate switch.

So You can use a NAS with only one network connection too.


For the second part of Your question I can tell, that I use NAS devices from Fujitsu for a long time and I' m very happy with them.


There is the smallest (I personally like the most) the Celvin QE705, and this one also provides two network connections.