Remote working: software/network tips


Hi all- starting a thread for shares as I am sure that we are all working differently during these times.

I work in a U.S.-based firm of 100 people-80 people are in design creation/ production, rest are administrative and strategic leadership who do little/no production. I am a "tween" and do a bit a both design/leadership so trying to share best practices with the Senior Principal leadership who want "benchmarks" -sigh...

1) Sketchup- are firms just buying individual licenses for their team members?

2) Revit: has your firm moved to the Cloud or are people using user specific licenses?

3) Network: how are your firms monitoring bandwidth usage?

4) Digital Hygiene tips: what best practices does your firm/team use so that Revit and graphic files aren't gigantic?

5) Virtual meetings: Are you using Teams, Zoom, Go-to....any others?

Would love to hear from people from firms around the globe-

Appreciate this community, thanks for shares and stay well!

Mar 18, 20 3:40 pm

The office I work for uses Logmein, we are all scattered about the bay area, and everyone is able to continue to work, albiet a bit more slowly if on WIFI(lag times) , gets a bit spongy at times with Revit and sketchup - we also use Zoom and Slack, Slack is out tool of choice for internal communications, quick stuff

also Logmein can be difficult for some to set up, firewalls on various laptops, co-workers with Macs. I use a Lenova P1/Gen 2 - 

Mar 18, 20 8:19 pm  · 

we have a mix of VDI, remote desktop and leaving your work computer turned on, and VPN.  Revit does not work through the VPN, but BIM360 seems not so bad.  The BIM360 path can help with our consultants working from home as well.  Skype for a portable phone number, conference calls, desktop sharing, and texting.  MS Teams for sharing essential memes. 

I'm not sure I'm going to go back.  I kind of like this working from home.

Mar 18, 20 8:36 pm  · 
atelier nobody

As I predicted, our VPN, which is actually the fastest and most robust VPN I've ever worked on, is nonetheless having difficulties with the sudden 50x normal traffic.

Mar 19, 20 1:20 pm  · 

We use a AWS server to handle our Autodesk licensing server (35ish licenses for 50-60 total staff). We made a crazy decision last year to move our file storage to Google Drive (we use the Google Suite), using File Sync for Windows integration. It has paid off immensely with our two offices working from home and no more VPN.  Not only that but every project is now on BIM360, and we require it in our consultant agreements.  We have Zoom accounts and the entire staff is in Slack.  SketchUp, not everyone uses and we made the switch to assigned seats (10 + 3 SketchUp Studio I think).  

Autode$k is going to force us to trade in our licenses for the 1:1 assignable user licenses this year, I think. Not sure how I feel about it, but for small firms it could be a blessing.

Mar 21, 20 9:12 pm  · 

We're a big global firm, so already had very robust IT infrastructure in place, with VPNs and license servers all set up and tested. We use Teams, BIM360, and Bluebeam Studio extensively. Because of the VPN access to server drives, we can still collaborate using SKP/Rhino fairly effectively too.

But the way IT set up the VPN, all traffic from remote users goes through the VPN connection, not just stuff that has to use the VPN. So in addition to the normal work-related stuff, people streaming Spotify and all that kind of thing is also going through the company servers via VPN. And with many hundreds of users suddenly doing it all at once, the VPN is getting a little bogged down.

Teams has been a godsend though. In just a month, it has gone from being one of many teleconferencing solutions we use (Teams, Slack, GoToMeeting, Zoom, etc.) to the ONLY one we use. It is stable, scales well, robust, and very flexible. Without it, I'm not sure this would be working.

Mar 23, 20 11:15 am  · 

pro tip:  if you're on BIM 360, your consultant models also have to connect from BIM 360.  If you have a linked file pathed to your company's server, the VPN will kill you.

Mar 23, 20 11:56 am  · 

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