Solidworks free Archives

Solidworks free Archives

solidworks free Archives

solidworks free Archives

Enabling Compression of SOLIDWORKS PDM Archives to free up hard drive space

An excellent way to free up some hard drive space on your SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server, is to enable compression of the archives.

Only older versions of files will be compressed when this option is enabled, the latest version of all files will always be uncompressed to improve performance.  The compression option is Archive Server specific, so if there are multiple replicated Archive Servers it will need to be enabled on each one to have the files be compressed on that server.

When replication takes place, the file is uncompressed at the source server before being replicated to the destination server, so this will slightly increase the time it takes to perform the replication of the file, though it shouldn’t be very noticeable to users in the case of on demand replication.  Since most scheduled replication takes place nightly, there aren’t likely to be that many older versions created during a single day, so the impact on the scheduled replication performance should be fairly minimal.  The only noticeable effect on performance would be when doing a full replication to a new Archive Server, this may take a bit more time than on an uncompressed vault.

One thing to keep in mind though, starting with SOLIDWORKS 2015, .sldprt .sldasm and .slddrw files are already internally compressed when they are saved (there is about a 50-80% decrease in file sizes from the previous years), so compressing these files will not really save much space (about 2%).  However any files last saved in SOLIDWORKS 2014 or older, or any non SOLIDWORKS files, will benefit from enabling compression.



Here are the steps to enable compression on an Archiver Server:

Step 1:  In the PDM Administration console, double click “Group Policies” to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.

Group Policies

Step 2:  Under Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration, right-click Administrative Templates and select “Add/Remove Templates”

Add/Remove Templates

Step 3: Click Add to import the SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Compression Template

Add to import template

Step 4:  In the Open dialog, browse to the SOLIDWORKS PDM installation files and go to the SWPDMClient\support\polices folder.  There select the file PDMWorks Enterprise.adm and click Open.

Open Policy

Step 5:  Expand the Administrative Templates > Classic Administrative Templates (ADM) > SOLIDWORKS PDM Settings and select Archive Server.  Double click on the setting for “Archive Compression”.

Archive Compression

Step 6:  Enable Archive Compression and set the schedule.  The format is “minute hour weekday” with * acting as a wildcard.

NOTE: if you enter all wildcards for the format: ‘* * *’ it will launch compression every minute of every day. DON’T USE ‘* * *’.

You should only run the compression schedule ONCE per day, running it too frequently would result in performance degradation on the Archive Server.  Schedule the Compression Schedule to run AFTER the scheduled backup of the Archive Files.  For instance use 0 2 * to run the compression at 2:00 AM (server time) every day.

Compression Schedule

Step 7:  Launch the Archive Configuration Tool and Restart the Archive Server for the changes to take effect.

Restart Archive Server

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Managing Your SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive with Distribution

The location where our data is stored isn’t set in stone. There will be situations when we need more space, more speed, or in a bad situation – a failing drive. In part one, we covered vault cleanup and permanently removing deleted files. This blog contains methods used to relocate and redistribute our SOLIDWORKS PDM vault storage. 

Disclaimer: Before taking any steps to relocate, remove or compress data please ensure that all files have been checked in by the users, backups have been taken of both the database and archives.  In the event of a relocation have all users log off or go into Offline Mode before attempting the move.

PDM archive distribution

The archive file store can be relocated into as many as 16 locations. This load split is done from the archive server and can be done to any directories or drives that the server has access to.  This can be for drives that are located on the network or physically attached to the server. This is the best method for addressing space concerns that doesn’t result in an entire server move as we are adapting the hardware that we are using instead of removing data.

Built-in archive relocation

We start this process by launching the Archive Server Configuration application from the start menu. If upon launch a dialog is not shown, check the task tray by the clock as in the image below. Right-click this and select “Open”.

In the tool you will find your vault(s) listed in the main pane by selecting “This Computer” and the folder that is located underneath that.  Select the vault that we want to relocate and right click. Select “Relocate” from the menu that shows. 

Note: The directory that contains your vaults may be different than the image below.

The resulting dialog will give us a few options in how we would like to relocate our vault data. In the example below, I am relocating 25% of my vault structure to a networked location. 

Note: It is important to understand that the process moves the 25% of the archive structure not 25% of the total sum of data. The archive can be moved in 1/16th increments due to the nature of how the vault is organized. Each file upon entry into the vault is assigned a File ID that is translated into a hexadecimal (base 16) number and files are organized in the archive based on this number. Each file will land in a folder for the last digit of its hexadecimal ID. This relocation will relocate any number of those 16 folders to a new location. Folders will not be split into different drives and each folder size may vary with the number of versions and actual data size per file of the files located in these folders.

The relocation dialog will indicate that the percentage of the vault being stored must be 100% across all locations. The total size is displayed numerically along with a color indicator: green is good and red is either less than or greater than 100%. 

The dialog will not close if this is the case. Percentages of the archive store are set by clicking the path in the highlighted area and then adjusting the slider. To add more paths click the “Add” button and direct to a new path.  

If a full move is being performed adjust the original path to 0%. Clicking OK will prompt to make sure that all users are logged out of the vault before this move is started. Click OK to start the process from there. A progress dialog will indicate that files are being moved.  his process should not be interrupted once started. Allow this to complete and users will be able to log in and use the vault without issue.

Considerations: If your vault is large, it may be best to relocate in small increments of 1/16th at a time. This will avoid overloading the server during the process and locking up.

Manual relocation

If your vault is particularly large to the degree of Terabytes (or close to) it may be best to perform a manual move.  This method involves fewer dialog and safety checks, but is still fairly simple.

To start this process, stop the SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server service from running. Then obtain the directory of your current archive data by either looking in the Archive Server Configuration tool as detailed above or look at the registry settings for the archive locations. This will come in handy to have open later so is the advised method. Open the registry editor and navigate to the following keys.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\ArchiveServer\Vaults\[Vault Name]\ArchiveTable\

Each of these keys give the specific location to one of our archive folders.  Here we can determine where they currently reside and then alter where the archive will look for that folder once restarted.  With the Archive Server Service still stopped, locate one of these folders and manually move it to the new location. Then change the value for the respective key to the new path.  After the move has been completed, the Archive Server Service can be restarted and the change will be in effect.

Stay tuned for part three to learn how to manage your SOLIDWORKS PDM archive with compression and cold storage techniques. 

Related Articles

Managing Your SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive: Cleanup

Using Conditional Notifications in SOLIDWORKS PDM

SOLIDWORKS PDM Backup Awareness

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