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Windchill and Creo over a VPN connection

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Windchill and Creo over a VPN connection

With the COVID-19 virus situation, we want to allow our engineers to work from home with Creo and Windchill.   We have a small number, around 10 who are experimenting with working from home and are running into an error when trying to upload / check in Creo files from a workspace.  Especially larger files, they are all getting a "HTTP Upload Failed" error.

Checking on the PTC Tech Support site, there is an article  (CS249369) that addresses this, but says it is an issue with the network setup.

My question is, has anyone had experience with successfully setting up Creo and Windchill to work over VPN?   If so, what did you do to get it to work?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Re: Windchill and Creo over a VPN connection

We finally found a solution!

 

After much testing and help from PTC Tech Support to rule out a Creo or Windchill issue, our IT department found an issue with a firewall behind our VPN that was blocking some traffic to and from the Windchill server.  This has been fixed and our engineers are able to work normally, if a little slower than normal.

 

Also of note, we had to set users to use the master file server instead of replica servers as well.

View solution in original post

7 REPLIES 7
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Re: Windchill and Creo over a VPN connection

Is this a persistent or intermittent failure?  If it is intermittent, confirm your Apache Keep Alive Timeout value is 60 seconds.  This can be confirmed from any client computer.  Just replace the red text with your Windchill server’s URL.  Then run from a PowerShell shell.

try {

    $r = wget -Uri https://ptc-training.ptc.com/Windchill/wt.properties

} catch {

    $r = $_.Exception

}

$r.Headers

 

 

If it is 15 seconds (OOTB default value), then it was never set.  The following will set it.

https://support.ptc.com/appserver/cs/view/solution.jsp?n=CS72843

 

If it is something greater than 60 seconds, it needs to be reduced to 60 seconds.

 

Note: You can also turn on Apache debugging.  Edit: 

%wt_home%\..\HTTPServer\config\httpd.conf

set

LogLevel debug

 

If making configuration changes to Apache, confirm they are valid before restarting Apache

%wt_home%\..\HTTPServer\bin\httpd -t

 

Restart Apache

 

Was Creo reconfigured for a WAN connection?  Specifically, was dm_http_compression_level evaluated?

https://www.ptc.com/en/support/article/CS153887

Note: In the past, when changing dm_http_compression_level, the server must be unregistered, Creo Parametric restarted, and the server re-registered for setting to take effect.  Not sure if this is still required today.

 

Does your IT department use WAN accelerators? If so, don't enable compression. Compression and WAN accelerators don't mix well.

 

Is Windchill configured for HTTP (port 80) or HTTPS (port 443)? The protocol in use requires the associated port to be open thru all firewalls and anti-virus solutions sitting between the Windchill application server and the clients. That includes client, network and VPN firewalls.  I'm assuming the appropriate port is open or you wouldn't get to the point of downloading or uploading.

Do you know your network map when connecting from home? Home may only be 5 physical miles from the office, but some companies run all VPN connections thru a central hub far away from their Windchill servers -- potentially in another state or country.  The added distance and network hops can impact performance.

 

If the first couple of ideas don't help, log a call with PTC and be prepared to involve your IT department based on PTC's investigation.  PTC isn't responsible for fixing the issue but they should be able to help you tell IT where to look for the network configuration issue.

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Re: Windchill and Creo over a VPN connection

Hi Matt, thanks for the advice.

 

The issue is persistently intermittent.   What I mean by that is, small files work fine, but larger file sizes like Family Tables and Assemblies persistently fail.   When it fails it fails immediately.   So it is not like it starts to upload and then times out or a connection issue happens.   It acts like it doesn't even try.

 

I checked the Apache Keep Alive Timeout and it is set to 60 seconds

 

The dm_http_compression_level was set to 1

 

I think I will contact my IT department and see if they are open to making changes to the network and if so, open a case with PTC.

 

Thanks again.

 

- marc

 

 

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Re: Windchill and Creo over a VPN connection

Hello,

Running into this as well. 

It appears that my timeout is at 5 seconds though!

I think I followed the instructions above here to change it to 60 seconds

 

ant -f config.xml configure -DKeepAliveTimeout=60

 

I then reinstalled the Apache service.

Testing the timeout from my desktop I see:

 

Key                    Value                              
---                    -----                              
X-Ptc-Connected        1                                  
X-Frame-Options        SAMEORIGIN                         
X-do-not-compress-this 1                                  
Vary                   Accept-Encoding,User-Agent         
Keep-Alive             timeout=5, max=100                 
Connection             Keep-Alive                         
Transfer-Encoding      chunked                            
Accept-Ranges          bytes                              
Date                   Thu, 26 Mar 2020 19:09:21 GMT      
ETag                   W/"146436-1559661784970"           
Last-Modified          Tue, 04 Jun 2019 15:23:04 GMT      
Server                 Apache/2.4.37 (Win64) mod_jk/1.2.43

 

Any thoughts on what I am missing?

 

edit: oops, didn't mean to reply under the other comment

 

Thanks!

Kyle

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Re: Windchill and Creo over a VPN connection

I finally heard back from support.

had to manually update the httpd.conf per the following article:

https://www.ptc.com/en/support/article/CS75225

which also links to:

https://support.ptc.com/appserver/cs/view/solution.jsp?n=151529

 

now I have this:

Key                    Value                              
---                    -----                              
X-Ptc-Connected        1                                  
X-Frame-Options        SAMEORIGIN                         
X-do-not-compress-this 1                                  
Vary                   Accept-Encoding,User-Agent         
Keep-Alive             timeout=60, max=100                
Connection             Keep-Alive                         
Transfer-Encoding      chunked                            
Accept-Ranges          bytes                              
Date                   Thu, 26 Mar 2020 22:03:43 GMT      
ETag                   W/"146436-1559661784970"           
Last-Modified          Tue, 04 Jun 2019 15:23:04 GMT      
Server                 Apache/2.4.37 (Win64) mod_jk/1.2.43

but an engineer just tried again and still gets the same "HTTP Upload Failed" error.

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Re: Windchill and Creo over a VPN connection

PTC has posted customer resource page that includes links to several articles that may be helpful for troubleshooting remote working related issues when accessing Windchill including CAD usage.   These articles can be found under the Winchill resources section:

 

COVID-19 Customer Resources

 

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Re: Windchill and Creo over a VPN connection

Hi Marc,

in addition to the various settings suggested by the other Marc, to the people working from home I gave a couple of suggestions.

 

The first one was to load all the data in the Windchill cache, recreate it and download only the data they should have been working on from home, this of course before they stayed at home.

 

In our case we also had a centralized installation on a network disk, which we already knew didn't perform well in VPN, so we copied the installation locally to all the machines, also modifying the boot script so that it would point to the local copy instead of the network copy.

 

Despite this, Creo's boot times are two to three times longer than before.

 

The final tip, since we have about 200 people from the various offices working from home, is to run the WS operations outside standard working hours (for example, early in the morning or late afternoon, or take advantage of the lunch or dinner break).

 

At the moment, after a couple of weeks of working in this mode, even after analyzing the session data sent with Performance Advisor for Creo, there were no obvious problems in users' work.

Marco
Highlighted

Re: Windchill and Creo over a VPN connection

We finally found a solution!

 

After much testing and help from PTC Tech Support to rule out a Creo or Windchill issue, our IT department found an issue with a firewall behind our VPN that was blocking some traffic to and from the Windchill server.  This has been fixed and our engineers are able to work normally, if a little slower than normal.

 

Also of note, we had to set users to use the master file server instead of replica servers as well.

View solution in original post

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