SOLIDWORKS PDM System Resources Starting Point

Article by Francisco Guzman on Oct 20, 2017

One of the most common questions through our SOLIDWORKS PDM support queue is in regards to the Windows server requirements for PDM server components. This article is a reference to hardware PDM system resources recommendations. This information is based on our technical support experience in ensuring a healthy PDM server.

First, there’s something we need to talk about 

These recommendations assume a healthy network infrastructure. A client system should be a machine in the same LAN as the archive server. A gigabit network with reliable/continuous connectivity and throughput is necessary. Connections that require a WAN, should set up a replicated environment such that the remote client is local to the remote archive server. 

A “speedy” HDD array for is necessary PDM server components - especially for an MS SQL server. If any of the terms/instructions provided herein seem “foreign” to you, that will be for a reason: We want you to consult with an IT professional to perform the tasks – or contact us if you need direction on how you can move forward. 

One more thing… 

As the title of this document states, these are a starting point for a SOLIDWORKS PDM server system. Meaning that as your company, user count, and vault grow, more of these system resources will need to be allocated to the server system. Ensure that your server system resources are scalable. 

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Official system resources requirements 

These can be found on the SOLIDWORKS website

Supported Virtual Environments 

About SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard 

For a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard vault, the recommendations below apply as well. With the exceptions that there is no archive server replication and that SQL Express vault databases for PDM Standard are limited to only 1 GB of RAM. You may adjust the RAM values recommended below accordingly. 

Recommendations for the machine hosting ALL PDM server components 

Resources 

  • RAM: 32 GB 
  • CPU Cores: 8
  • Disk Space: 1TB

Heads up! 

  • MS SQL Server can be limited to use up to 16 GB of RAM. You don’t want to accidentally let SQL gobble up all of the RAM that the SOLIDWORKS PDM server components need to function.
  • Change SQL Recovery Model to “Simple”. It is recommended by SOLIDWORKS and your server will thank you.
  • Be mindful when you run automated tasks like replication or SQL maintenance, etc. Resource-intensive tasks should be scheduled during off-hours.
  • Monitor RAM utilization during business peak-time. A good rule of thumb is to have about 20% available room for overhead for any resource during business peak-time. This bullet is even more important on a system hosting multiple vault databases.

Recommendations for machine only an archive server 

Resources

Absolute minimum 

  • RAM: 8GB
  • CPU Cores: 2
  • Disk Space: 300GB

For an archive server in a replicated environment 

  • RAM: 16GB
  • CPU Cores: 4
  • Disk Space: 500GB 

Heads up! 

  • Regarding the absolute minimum recommendations, depending on vault and user count growth, you’ll need to add more resources soon.
  • Replication on schedule can be taxing on the archive server system. Do not overlap schedules of other Non-PDM applications that may leach the resources that the replicated archive server needs to function. i.e. an anti-virus scan.
  • For a replicated environment, your replication settings ultimately dictate if you need more disk space than the 500GB recommended. Replicating the entire vault and all versions? Ensure you’ll have the storage for that.
  • The rule of thumb is that if a $50 Raspberry Pi is more powerful, then you’re probably doing something wrong. That was a joke, sorry about that, but it’s kind of true… We have companies that report “slow PDM” while running PDM on slow server systems.

Recommendations for machine only the MS SQL Server 

Resources 

  • RAM: 16GB
  • CPU Cores: 4
  • Disk Space: 300GB 

Heads up!

  • Change SQL Recovery Model to “Simple”. It is recommended by SOLIDWORKS and your server will thank you.
  • Be mindful when you run automated tasks like replication or SQL maintenance, etc. Resource-intensive tasks should be scheduled during off-hours.
  • Monitor RAM utilization during business peak-time. A good rule of thumb is to have about 20% available room for overhead for any resource during business peak-time. This bullet is even more important on a system hosting multiple vault databases.

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Moving the SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault Database Yourself? Start Here

About Francisco Guzman

Francisco Guzman is the PDM Technical Support Lead at GoEngineer, and is pursuing his degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Utah. In addition to providing guidance and support to SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS PDM customers, Francisco also provides support for DriveWorks design automation. He won the world-wide DriveWorks reseller CPD contest as the best DriveWorks AE for 2015. For fun, he designs, 3D-Prints, builds and races custom first-person-view (FPV) racing drone frames.

View all posts by Francisco Guzman

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