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Scope of Being Windchill Sysadmin

AZ_9656599
4-Participant

Scope of Being Windchill Sysadmin

Hello, 

 

I'm part of a university engineering group composed of undergraduate students. We have been using Windchill for almost a decade, and with the end of PTC's support of academic servers, we are looking into hosting the server ourselves. One of our biggest concerns is being the sysadmin for a server of this scale. We were hoping that someone could provide some insight on what we should prepare for. Is being sysadmin something that we could expect a student to do? (I.e. attending to occasional maintenance and updates, but otherwise Windchill will run itself. This would look like 0-1hrs/week.) Or, is it something that would require full-time attention and oversight? (Upwards of 10 hrs/week.)

 

Thanks in advance.

6 REPLIES 6
STEVEG
21-Topaz I
(To:AZ_9656599)

This is a big job.  There are many aspects to that part of the system.  There are people that do their own administration but it's not something to take lightly.  I do not believe this would be a job for a student.

There are companies that you can contract with that do this part.

BenLoosli
23-Emerald II
(To:AZ_9656599)

Here are 2 copies of basically the same presentation. This ONLY covers the database side of Windchill.

 

The daily upkeep is not that much work. It is the upgrades and monitoring the proper placement for files in Windchill so the users can find their files. All files in a single context may not be the best strategy, especially in a student environment. Maybe a single context but then sub-folders for each student with permissions set so they cannot copy each other's work. Setting up and maintaining the ACLs can be a bit overwhelming when first tackled.

 

There are many in this forum who have been administrating Windchill for many years, and we still ask new questions. I have been using and administrating Windchill and Creo for almost 20 years with another 20 years of Unigraphics experience as a user and administrator. Some of those years were overlapped as we used both CAD systems for a while at one company.

 

AZ_9656599
4-Participant
(To:AZ_9656599)

I should also add that we will not be working on the hardware/os level.

 

We are just hoping to better understand how intensive the administration on a day-to-day basis is. I.e. what do the daily tasks look like? 

Have you looked into the new Windchill+ offering?

 

There's 3 types of work that we do:

  • System updates (major effort, a lot of experience required). With Windchill+, you may be able to eliminate this entirely. If you go the Windchill+ route, it seems that you will eventually also need to move to Creo+. All of this is really new so you'll want to look into it fully. 
  • Business configuration changes - occasionally you might need to change your business configuration. But if you're teaching the same course semester after semester, you'd probably get to a point that's pretty stable (if you're not already there). I'd recommend hiring a consultant as-needed once your system is mostly stable. You really want someone with experience to do this kind of work. 
  • Responding to user issues - most common issues are pretty straight forward to fix. The real question here is how many users, how many issues they create, and then what is the expected response time. It might be possible to have a sharp student cover this with 10-20 hours a week. You would probably want them to be on call for issues 1-2 hours per day, and especially when big assignments are due.
AZ_9656599
4-Participant
(To:joe_morton)

Hello,

 

This is not part of a course. We are a student group that uses CREO/Windchill to design cars that we build and race. 100% extracurricular. We'll still take some time to look into Windchill+, though. 

 

Thanks

TomU
23-Emerald IV
(To:AZ_9656599)

A properly installed and configured system should be very stable and require very little daily (or even weekly) interaction.  Even updates (CPS installations) don't take much effort.  The big time commitment comes during upgrades where an entirely new system has to be installed and configured from scratch and then everything on the old system migrated and duplicated on the new system.  This is where you really need someone who knows what they are doing and has a thorough understanding of Windchill.  As @joe_morton mentioned, Windchill+ eliminates upgrades and updates by the end user, but it's still pretty new and may not be mature enough to meet your needs (or your budget).  A student should certainly be able to perform typical 'business administration' tasks like republishing failed objects, deleting inadvertent new revisions, manually changing state on things, etc.

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