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Windchill server configuration

MISSP
Regular Member

Windchill server configuration

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Help me figure out the server configuration for Creo and Windchill. There is a server, or rather a powerful workstation that acts as a server for the design Department

-7700K Core i7 (4.2 Ghz),

-64GB of RAM,

- Raid 1 hard drive-500GB ssd (for Windows server Essentials),

-2TB hard drive for Creo and Windchill,

-2Tb hard disk for file cleaning

The server is used as AD and DNS plus Creo and windchill are running on it

So, due to the huge database of Creo and Windchill, and especially the presence of many small files (and they are a VERY big problem when copying), backing up PTC products (Creo and Windchill) takes a long time, i.e. they can no longer be copied overnight.

In addition, to copy, you need to turn off all services that are running for PTC(Creo and Windchill), and this sometimes causes a lot of problems due to the fact that the same Windchill receives a lot of tasks for publishing, visualization during the day, and in the background it must perform it overnight.

Tell me what you can upgrade or solve the problem at the software level

Tags (2)
8 REPLIES 8

Re: Windchill server configuration

What are you copying for your backup?

Use a tape and backup software to do your backups.

If you have a lot of files changed in a day, remove unreferenced files will help reduce the vault size.

Is your DB on this machine or another machine?

 

Re: Windchill server configuration

The database is also on this server. At the moment I'm copying like this:

1) PTC Folder once a week in full

2) Daily in the following way:

net stop "PTC Windchill Directory Server"
net stop Apache2.4
net stop OracleServiceWIND


"C:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe" a -t7z -r0 -m0=bzip2 -mmt=8 x:\backup\Windchill(novaults)%date% D:\ptc\Windchill_11.1\Windchill -xr!vaults
"C:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe" a -t7z -r0 -m0=bzip2 -mmt=8 x:\backup\Windchill(novaults)%date% D:\PTC\Windchill_11.1\HTTPServer
"C:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe" a -t7z -r0 -m0=bzip2 -mmt=8 x:\backup\Windchill(novaults)%date% D:\PTC\Windchill_11.1\Java
"C:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe" a -t7z -r0 -m0=bzip2 -mmt=8 x:\backup\Windchill(novaults)%date% D:\PTC\Windchill_11.1\ocu
"C:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe" a -t7z -r0 -m0=bzip2 -mmt=8 x:\backup\Windchill(novaults)%date% D:\PTC\Windchill_11.1\PSI
"C:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe" a -t7z -r0 -m0=bzip2 -mmt=8 x:\backup\Windchill(novaults)%date% D:\PTC\Windchill_11.1\WindchillDS

 

robocopy D:\ptc\Windchill_11.1\Windchill\vaults x:\backupVaults /E

 

Re: Windchill server configuration

Thanks for sharing. Focusing on the most expedient solution to speed up the current backup...

 

The fastest possible file-level copy command on Windows is:

robocopy /e /mt:128 /R:1 /W:5 /ns /nc /ndl /nfl /np /log:x:\robocopy.log D:\ptc\Windchill_11.1\Windchill\vaults X:\backupVaults

 

If you don't want a backup of the unreferenced files, this is even faster.

robocopy /e /mt:128 /R:1 /W:5 /ns /nc /ndl /nfl /np /log:x:\robocopy.log D:\ptc\Windchill_11.1\Windchill\vaults X:\backupVaults /XD .unreferenced

 

Notes: File vaults are an incremental addition of new data as files are uploaded to Windchill. Nightly backups to X:\backupVaults using 'robocopy /e ...' will only copy incremental additions. Old data is never added or removed without performing deliberate file vaulting services like Remove Unreferenced Files. If you need to add and remove to match production file vaults, use 'robocopy /mir ...' instead.

 

FYI: The latest folder is always empty.  When the previous vault folder gets full, Windchill begins writing to the latest folder and creates a new empty folder.  Assuming an overflow event occurred during that day, all new file vault writes during that day will be distributed across the latest three folders.  So you can further increase performance by focusing robocopy on the three most recent vault subfolders.  There are various ways of scripting this depending on your configuration and scripting tools: DOS, powershell, etc.  Google can help.

 

It is also possible to segregate the subfolders into groupings and process the groupings in parallel.  Parallel processing can greatly reduce copy time.  Experiment with the number of simultaneous copy commands to see what runs the fastest.  Too many in parallel copy commands will decrease performance because of hardware or network resource limitations.  Parallel processing is also environment specific and requires even more advanced scripting.

 

Regular file vault maintenance will reduce the size of the file vaults and minimize what needs to be backed up.

  1. Remove Unreferenced Files should be run periodically (e.g. monthly) with the 'move' option.
  2. Confirm nothing is missing after running the command: windchill wt.fv.tools.WContentVerify
  3. Only then delete the contents of all the .unreferenced folders.

 

Other comments...

 

If file-level copy still isn’t fast enough, consider moving to a backup solution that supports block-level cloning. Block-level cloning can be orders of magnitude faster.

 

The installation you describe appears to be an OOTB configuration. Structurally, the best practice is to move your file vaults to some location outside the Windchill load point and preferably to another drive (e.g. E:\ptc\vaults\) or UNC path (e.g. \\fileserver\ptc\vaults\) after installation. Philosophically, PTC "owns" the Windchill load point and we don't want any customer data in this location. More practically, your disk I/O is now being shared between the Windchill application, database datafiles, and file vaults which leads to poor performance. It probably wasn't noticeable at first, but as the database grows, it will become more of an issue.

Re: Windchill server configuration


Regular file vault maintenance will reduce the size of the file vaults and minimize what needs to be backed up.

  1. Remove Unreferenced Files should be run periodically (e.g. monthly) with the 'move' option.
  2. Confirm nothing is missing after running the command: windchill wt.fv.tools.WContentVerify
  3. Only then delete the contents of all the .unreferenced folders.

@mmeadows-2, Have you ever had the remove unreferenced files process actually remove some referenced files?  Just curious...

Re: Windchill server configuration

Yes, long ago, back in 9.1 I believe.  There was a bug that caused referenced data to be removed.  Haven't seen the issue since, but don't want to get caught in the situation where I permanently deleted a file to later find out it was still needed.  Just better to be safe than sorry.

Re: Windchill server configuration

Matt, You really do a great job on these postings - appreciated.

Re: Windchill server configuration

I'm not an expert.. but I think typically the server architecture is split across several machines. You'll get better performance that way for each component. (Database on one server, Windchill application on one server, CAD publishing done on another server)

Re: Windchill server configuration

1. Should have Windchill vaulting set up to store by folders with automatic folder creation. Only the last folder is active and needs backup.

2. If you're not using a modern backup solution (e.g. cloud snapshots), then it's essential to also export the database every night and keep in synch with files.

3. Don't understand backing up Creo. Is this the CAD worker for publishing or are users launching Creo over the network from an install on this server?  In any case, backing up Creo would only be the config files.

4. The "many small files" are likely from publishing, but all should be vaulted and so # 1 addresses this.

 

You don't say below whether the database is actually also on this host.  If the database is huge, possibly you are storing both native CAD and published files in the database rather than vaulting them (the default property condition for Windchill).

 

In general, there are good and simple solutions to all these things. Can be addressed but likely not so easily on a forum like this.  An experienced system admin can get all humming well in just a few hours.

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