BIM9′s RTC Lab – How did we do that?
Last week, BIM9 was proud to be the Gold Hardware Sponsor at RTC North America in Stone Mountain, GA. As usual, the amazing crew at RTC pulled off another outstanding event and we got a ton of questions about BIM9′s private BIM clouds. Of all the questions we got however, the number one question by a long shot was, “How did you do that?”
Before we jump into the answer, let me recap a bit for those who had a session in the BIM9 Lab and to properly set the stage for those who didn’t have the privilege of having a session in the BIM9 Lab, or were simply not able to attend this year’s RTC North America.
Sitting on the desks in the lab were 20 of those now familiar silver Mac Book Pros. As most Revit users know, Revit doesn’t run natively on the MAC OS, so most people just assumed that we were running both the Windows OS and Revit through parallels.
One gentleman even came to the booth and asked specifically, “How did you get Revit to run in parallels so smoothly on those Mac Books with such low specs?” Several other attendees commented that although they knew we were running laptops, how did we get them to run as quickly as high performance desktop workstations?
To put it in perspective, the specs for the Mac Books were:
CPU: Core 2 Duo
RAM: 2 – 4 GB
Hard Drive: 250 GB
OS: Mac OSX
The answer to both of these questions is we were not running parallels at all, but the lab was actually powered by a BIM9 private BIM cloud. What that means is that up at the front of the room there were 5 BIM9BOX rack systems, 4 powering 5 virtual desktops each, a Mac Book Pro driving each of those virtual desktops. The 5th BIM9BOX rack system acted as a file server for the class.
The specs for the BIM9BOX rack systems were:
CPU: i7-2700K 3.5 – 4.5GHz
RAM: 32GB’s @ 2133
Hard-drive: 3 – 240 GB SSD’s
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
This lab configuration serves as a prime example of one of the most exciting benefits of a BIM9 private BIM cloud. With the performance controlled by the systems powering the private BIM cloud, you can connect to it from systems with very low specs while still getting the performance of high end workstations. You’ll also notice that we got a 5 to 1 ratio on our i7 BIM9BOX rack systems meaning that for each rack system added to a BIM9 private BIM cloud, 5 users can run with workstation performance regardless of the actual specs of the devices they’re connecting with.
Meanwhile upstairs, we had another BIM9 private BIM cloud driving all the activity in the BIM9 booth. On the big screen, we had 4 separate virtual sessions running a continuous loop of the Revit AU Bench script. All 4 of those virtual desktops were controlled by a low power HP Mini net book. In addition, we typically had 2-3 iPads in the booth each running separate virtual sessions of the same looping AU Bench, with 1 or 2 more iPads running another virtual session, but connected to a live model to show the actual performance and functionality of an iPad running Revit from the BIM9 private BIM cloud. As if that were not enough, we also had a workstation connected that you could sit down at to drive Revit, Navisworks or AutoCAD also running from the BIM9 private BIM cloud.
For those of you keeping track, that was no less than 10 live sessions running simultaneously at all times. All 10 of these sessions were being powered by a single BOXX Technology 3DBOXX system, a part of their 8920 series. Although we never ran more than 10 virtual desktops simultaneously at the BIM9 booth, the BOXX system could have supported up to 20 virtual Revit sessions at the same time. Yes, you read that right, we could have hosted up to 20 simultaneous Revit sessions from one single high end BOXX workstation.
To be sure, it is a monster system, the actual specs of the BOXX 8920 Series being:
CPU: Dual Xeon E5-2600
RAM: 128GB’s @ 1600
Hard-drive: 5 – 240 GB SSD’s
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
Couple this level of performance with the other benefits a BIM9 private BIM cloud to connect branch offices and remote users so they can work together on a single Revit central file without copying or transferring data and you can see why BIM9 created such a buzz at RTC. To see firsthand what the buzz is about, go to http://bim9.com/events/and sign up for one of our upcoming webinars.
If you did not make RTC North America this year be sure to catch it next year in Vancouver. We know that as long as they will have us BIM9 will be there.