How Talon CloudFAST™ enhances Autodesk Revit, Building Information Modeling (BIM) work processes
by Andrew Mullen on June 29, 2015
As discussed in a previous article, Building Information Modeling has become a central concern for businesses working on building design, architecture and construction. BIM is not only incredibly useful, but it is increasingly becoming a requirement for securing public-sector contracts.
And when it comes to utilizing and collaborating on BIM projects, Autodesk Revit is among the most popular, important resources available. Autodesk Revit was specifically created to operate in the context of BIM projects, making it the ideal option for countless organizations as they embrace BIM. However, it's critical to note that Autodesk Revit can only deliver on its promise when it's utilized properly - without accommodations, the solution may create severe performance bottlenecks that undercut its value. To avoid this outcome and maximize the use of Revit, companies should turn to Talon CloudFAST™. Talon CloudFAST™ supports Revit, enabling personnel throughout a distributed enterprise to work together on BIM projects in real-time.
"Talon CloudFAST™ fully supports Revit."
Autodesk Revit and BIM
The BIM approach is based on the notion of combining every aspect of a building project into a single file. This includes the 3-D model and robust information concerning building materials, financial data, logistics and more. As such, collaboration is essential to BIM success, as a wide range of specialists will need to access and contribute to a given project.
Autodesk Revit is particularly valuable in this context because of its File-Aware capabilities. The large project, along with its associated components, can be stored on a shared network drive in a central location while each individual user has the applications running on his or her workstation. The solution also features meta-files that can determine which users access which part of the centralized project and when changes are made.
This means that users around the world can contribute to a single BIM project, while the company maintains oversight over who had made what contributions and alterations. Without this insight, the projects may succumb to confusion and disorganization among end users.
The Revit challenge
Unfortunately, there's a major challenge that frequently stands in the way of achieving BIM success through Autodesk Revit: performance issues. The problem is that many organizations try to extend their datacenter storage infrastructure into the branch office in order to support Revit and its end-user accessibility. This is a difficult task likely to run into complications.
Many companies have attempted to resolve this issue using:
- WAN optimization
- Data replication
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
- Revit Server
In each case, though, firms have struggled. The approaches are simply inadequate for meeting the bandwidth requirements that BIM and Autodesk Revit present. After all, these are huge files containing vast amounts of information being utilized by many users at distant locations. This creates latency problems, which can critically undermine BIM's utility and drastically impacts end user productivity.
FAST™ and Secure Delivery of BIM
Overcoming these performance bottlenecks requires a dedicated file collaboration solution. Fortunately, Talon CloudFAST™ fits the bill perfectly.
Collaboration is key for BIM projects.
Importantly, CloudFAST™ features a patented Intelligent File Caching, compression and differencing mechanism that fully supports Revit principles for stand alone and worksharing 'central' files. This allows Talon's CloudFAST™ solution to guarantee coherence for files being utilized by multiple users simultaneously, as will often be the case with Revit. With CloudFAST™, the centralized BIM file will automatically sync up with copies as they are used by workers at various branches. This means that everyone working on a given project will see the same data, ensuring consistency throughout.
Just as significantly, CloudFAST™ accomplishes all of this by only sending the file differences to the centralized copy, rather than the file as a whole. This is far less demanding on corporate bandwidth, thereby avoiding the latency issues that have so frequently plagued companies relying on Revit in the past.
"Talon's CloudFAST™ solution guarantees coherence for files."
This allows companies' workforces to collaborate seamlessly on a global scale. Workers in different countries, and even on different continents, can contribute to a BIM project without experiencing delays or, even worse, conflicting data.
Additionally, Talon CloudFAST™ is built and secured on a Microsoft Windows Server platform. For any enterprise that relies on Microsoft for its infrastructure and/or cloud computing needs, this makes CloudFAST™ an extremely easy resource to use and integrate.
As BIM increasingly becomes the standard for building design, Autodesk Revit will inevitably grow in prominence. To ensure this solution pays off fully, companies need to similarly embrace Talon CloudFAST™ and its file collaboration capabilities.