With AuFS to Windchill Systems and vaults with EVA and NetApp for data tiering there is no need to duplicated Windchill installs and vaults for produciton, test and developments. Linux/Unix OS for Windchill is required.
What AuFS does is that it has the ability to instantly mirror your production system to your cluster, test and development without the need to perform another install. The benefits are:
no data duplication between systems (Windchill codebase, vaults, cultering, test, development)
System specific layered NFS mounts for service packs, customizations, system local machine specific files, cache, logs, vaults
instant time based mirroring by reseting the readonly layer mounts to a different time.
on test, development, clustered systems only contain a layer for modified files for server specific names and modifications of files (code development, service packs)
With an OOTB Windchill installation:
Delete All the Windchill cache and logs (tasks, logs including Apache, Tomcat, Cognos, Directory Server)
On the Test, Clusters, Developments
have the AuFS mounts comprised main 2 NFS mounts:
read only of Complete Windchill Installation (production nfs export)
write nfs for system specific files
additional nfs layers for builds and service pack installations which can be easily be removed if causes issues. Thus, the only requirement is to backup the database. (REALLY COOL!) If a build or service pack causes issues, just remove the nfs layer and reset the database
Files can be sorted on various data storage appliances depending on number of times accessed versus the Windchill vaulting rules. Thus, more expensive faster storage hardware appliances can be set at tier 1 and the slower be set at tier 2 and 3.
Overall, this saves tons of money for storage and disk requirements to maintain ITIL methodology for multiple systems of production, test, development and even clustering. Windchill best works on a systems on a blade infrastructure with a 10GIGE backbone switch and all apps installed on remote mounts to the storage array of EVA and NetApp. Thus, we know it requires a good network connection from the servers to the storage array which is standard these days. The entire installation, tmp, vaults can be reused to other systems as a nfs mount. Then add the AuFS to the mix and you have system specific files on a different NFS mount layer.