Tuesday, March 13, 2007

CAD Standards Content - Local or Network?

Beth Powell made a good point on her blog about CAD Standards content being kept on a local drive versus a network drive (link). It may be more work, but not by much. The part that's takes the most work is building the script file to begin with. Once it's built, it's done. Everyone still has to update the content files, organize them, etc. - whether that's done on a local or network drive it will still take the same amount of time. Using it for updated versions or new software deployments takes next to no time since you can simply make a copy of the script file and continue on from there. Did I mention I made a deployment image, applied a service pack to it and had the new release of tools ready to go in one day for ADT 2007?

While I agree, this is not for everyone, it will work in many situations. Beth also mentioned she was curious about performance seen from keeping content locally vs in a network location. What the end user will see varies greatly on a number of things. Size of the company, locations of the office or offices, network policies, number of people trying to access the network and so on. I guess what I'm saying is that it would be very hard to put an average number to any perceived performance boost due to varying network conditions. I think it would be safe to say that a small office of 50 people or less would probably not notice a difference between content stored locally or on the network. Medium size offices (50-100) would see some difference and a large office environment (100 and above) would see something much more noticeable. I've have seen companies spread out over a WAN that had some really complex network systems in place to keep everyone connected. Hopefully you are not building the content so it has to pull across the WAN - that would make things painfully slow.

Either way, as Beth mentioned, consistency will help tremendously. I've seen that more now than ever before as I have seen things become much easier in deploying the next version of the software. Whether you go with content locally or on the network, it's your call. If given the choice for myself, content will always be local if feasible.

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