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    Default Computer and network plans for new server

    I've wanted to do this for a while now. We are going to upgrade the engineering department computers and I wanted to post our plans and maybe see if anyone else had done this or wanted to.

    Right now we have 12 work stations with cad/cam that engineering, programmers, and machinists use. Spread out over the shop in each department.

    What I'm looking to do is install a large battery backup array for the server room and install two servers to basically run a bunch of virtual systems. Users can sign in on any of the thin clients anywhere in the shop and pickup where they left off essentially.

    I'm trying to cut down on battery backup maintenance spread across the shop, foot traffic to the engineering department from the machine shop. I don't mind if engineers go to the floor but I need machinists near the machines.

    We have run into issues where engineers will go back to help with a program fix/change and have to remote desktop to their system and it's laggy and not like you're sitting there at their computer.

    Has anyone done anything like this?? Am I thinking a budget of $40,000 to be too cheap?

    This will be a complete overhaul of the engineering computer setup. New monitors, keyboards, mice, the works. And not cheap crap either ..



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    Remote desktop is pretty quick on a network, so that should not be an issue;
    BUT
    The network needs to be clean. Gigabit speed is pretty much the norm now, 10G speed is out there but a bit pricy and of dubious advantage. WE just had an incident of an intern playing some internet based games which sucked the whole 25 Mbps fiber down to about zero for any other user; so one rule; this is a business; no games on computers.
    We had another instance where a user had set Microsoft One Drive to copy his whole hard drive (which it did mostly continuously)so he could do work from home. This also killed the internet and slowed down the whole internal network.
    40K sounds doable if you have a decent network in place.

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    I will be curious to see how this pans out. I have dug deep into virtualization for CAD/CAM platforms with a company about your size, and really didn't come away very happy.

    By the time you pay for all of the Windows Server licensing, badass virtualization severs, thinclients, etc... For us it was signifigantly more expensive than just running standalone CAD/CAM computers. You also loose the built in redundancy of standalone systems, and introduce a whole host of network bottle necking issues. We also had a number of people working from home, and you can imagine the horrors of running CAD software on the server over a VPN.

    I'd love to see a mid size company have legitimate success with this. On paper it's the most elegant solution. My experience was that it just doesn't make sense unless your computing requirements are absolutely massive.

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    I have never liked virtual machines for daily use - it never works as well as you would like it to. Not to mention the issues with rendering for things like CAD/CAM with five guys on one physical machine trying to do it at the same time. You're likely gonna need a few racks of GPUs, too. Look into network licensing on your CAD/CAM software (which, BTW, many companies charge like $2k extra per seat for this - what a bunch of bullshit. I blame this industry for being a bunch of cavemen that don't know any better).

    While you're at it get the WiFi up to snuff. Hire a contractor and make sure they show you survey results of coverage for the whole building before they get paid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Finsta View Post
    I have never liked virtual machines for daily use - it never works as well as you would like it to. Not to mention the issues with rendering for things like CAD/CAM with five guys on one physical machine trying to do it at the same time. You're likely gonna need a few racks of GPUs, too. Look into network licensing on your CAD/CAM software (which, BTW, many companies charge like $2k extra per seat for this - what a bunch of bullshit. I blame this industry for being a bunch of cavemen that don't know any better).

    While you're at it get the WiFi up to snuff. Hire a contractor and make sure they show you survey results of coverage for the whole building before they get paid.
    Our WiFi is up to par, lots of ubiquiti products all over the shop. It's hard to explain the entire network but I'm a nutshell, we have fiber running in cable trays on the ceiling that connect to 24 port Poe managed switches. Those switches are near network populated areas like engineering, shipping, estimating and planning, Haas department, and more.

    I have small rackmount enclosures spread around the shop on the walls or hanging. Point is we have 10gb to each switch, latency is low and the bandwidth is there for this project.

    Dell is trying to push the PowerEdge R940xa Rack loaded up. I'm still waiting on the quotes, going to have them configure and install the whole thing so that they warranty and back it up.

    They said 1 loaded would do the trick but im going to get two as a failsafe and try to move everyone away from workstations completely.

    We have a Dell server now that's setup with a thin client and have done texting with cad/cam and it works perfectly. I know I'll need some serious hardware to handle 12 concurrent solidworks users.



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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    I've wanted to do this for a while now.
    This is a picnic on Unix. Less so on Windows

    You don't need "virtual servers" just different accounts. And permissions. Ugh, but a necessary evil in this case.

    You could do a small-scale test first pretty easily using "remote desktop protocol". That used to work well but I think I heard that Mickeysoft was butchering it in newer windowses ?

    Not sure you can run thin clients ? This depends on where rdp does its graphics, on the server or at the client end. If it's at client end, your "thin" boxes will have to have good graphics, but not much memory or cpu. If it's at server end, that momma's gonna have to be a good 'un. Testing required.

    re the case of the guy playing internet games, yes. Do not connect to the internet. Fuck 'em, this is work, not playtime. Huge security issue. Not everyone is honest.

    Work from home is a different problem, copy a disk ? wow. That's pretty incredible. A vpn will do that job.

    It is a nice way to go but requires an administrator with a clue. Not a part-time guy who once fixed his mum's Macbook. Plan on having someone on-call who knows what he is doing. Don't skimp here.

    It won't be as efficient at each workstation but overall, for the company, it's better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    This is a picnic on Unix. Less so on Windows

    You don't need "virtual servers" just different accounts.

    You could do a small-scale test first pretty easily using "remote desktop protocol". That used to work well but I think I heard that Mickeysoft was butchering it in newer windowses ?

    Not sure you can run thin clients ? This depends on where rdp does its graphics, on the server or at the client end. If it's at client end, your "thin" boxes will have to have good graphics, but not much memory or cpu. If it's at server end, that momma's gonna have to be a good 'un. Testing required.

    re the case of the guy playing internet games, yes. Do not connect to the internet. Fuck 'em, this is work, not playtime. Huge security issue. Not everyone is honest.

    Work from home is a different problem, copy a disk ? wow. That's pretty incredible. A vpn will do that job.

    It is a nice way to go but requires an administrator with a clue. Not a part-time guy who once fixed his mum's Macbook. It won't be as efficient at each workstation but overall, for the company, it's better.
    Idk, the virtualization hardware and software have come a very very long way.

    There are only 4 VPN connections. Mine and the colocated server, along with the president and vp. No work from home unless it's me.

    Everyone has to have internet here, i encourage employees to take time through out the day to learn new manufacturing technologies via the Internet and see how it would work here.





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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    Idk, the virtualization hardware and software have come a very very long way.
    By definition, there is no such thing as virtualization hardware

    And what the hell is the point, "virtual" machines give you nothing over an account on the server. Unless they all need to run different operating systems, it's silly.

    Virtualization software is not applicable. Your employees all work for the same company. They are not different customers who need a firewall between them. And it's not a new thing, either. Solaris has had containers for decades. They actually work, unlike the windows crap. All you are talking about is separate accounts.

    Oh wait. Windows is too dumb to actually use multiple cores, so "virtualization" is the method around that now ? What a joke.

    No work from home unless it's me.
    Then the guy with the employee who copied an entire disk every night to take home will not happen to you

    Everyone has to have internet here,
    This is a huge error. Smart companies even disable the USB ports. Nothing unapproved in, nothing at all out, that's the way the info stays in your pocket and unwanted crap stays out. Giant mistake.

    i encourage employees to take time through out the day to learn new manufacturing technologies via the Internet and see how it would work here.
    And this is a thick frosting of dumbness. You aren't going to find doodly-crap of value on the internet. You're sacrificing company security for a unicorn. Dumb dumb dumb, that's really dumb, Archie.

    Really dumb

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    By definition, there is no such thing as virtualization hardware

    And what the hell is the point, "virtual" machines give you nothing over an account on the server. Unless they all need to run different operating systems, it's silly.

    Virtualization software is not applicable and it's not a new thing, either. Solaris has had containers for decades. They actually work, unlike the windows crap. All you are talking about is separate accounts.

    Oh wait. Windows is too dumb to actually use multiple cores, so "virtualization" is the method around that now ? What a joke.


    Then the guy with the employee who copied an entire disk every night to take home will not happen to you


    This is a huge error. Smart companies even disable the USB ports. Nothing unapproved in, nothing at all out, that's the way the info stays in your pocket and unwanted crap stays out. Giant mistake.


    And this is a thick frosting of dumbness. You aren't going to find doodly-crap of value on the internet. You're sacrificing company security for a unicorn. Dumb dumb dumb, that's really dumb, Archie.

    Really dumb
    Ya I disagree with all of that.... I've built a company that does over $20,000,000 in sales a year for the last 5 years....and I didn't get here by being a cocksucker boss with my foot on the neck of my hard working employees.

    For example, employees saw videos of Walter DC 170 drills on YouTube. Scheduled a meeting with Walter and they informed us of the classes they teach up north.... Flew 5 of my guys up there for the classes and they learned the science behind drilling and hsm. We now use those in the shop and take a different approach to speeds and feeds. In the end....we make more money through Improved processes because one guy was watching a YouTube video while programming a part.


    Funny you mention no USB ports....well you're wrong there also, we are NIST 800-171 compliant, not certified because there isn't a certification process yet. We also handle C.U.I daily and even the government says you can have USB drives.

    We are a machine shop that does assembly, albeit on some cool classified stuff, but really it's not top secret or anything. Just follow the rules and all is good.

    Virtualization these days means more than accounts. Applications stay open and you can access them from any terminal in the shop. We already use smartcards for 2 authentication and they will work with the thin clients. Having to login each time or share computers and login and logout waiting for things to load and open is wasteful of the expensive employee time.

    So much so we are going the virtualization route because the Time study says we will save money that can go to hiring more employees.




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    Last edited by as9100d; 12-19-2019 at 01:16 PM.

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    Thanks for starting this thread. I always wanted a thin client arrangement for my shop but never knew what it was called. I ended up ordering a cheap refurb'd HP from Newegg to try out for $58.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    Thanks for starting this thread. I always wanted a thin client arrangement for my shop but never knew what it was called. I ended up ordering a cheap refurb'd HP from Newegg to try out for $58.
    They are great. We use them for work stations to log jobs in and out. Out goal is to do the same thing but double screen at each station, elevated off the table using mounts and have the ability to access any resource anywhere in the shop without worrying if the hardware can support it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    They are great. We use them for work stations to log jobs in and out. Out goal is to do the same thing but double screen at each station, elevated off the table using mounts and have the ability to access any resource anywhere in the shop without worrying if the hardware can support it.

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    If I can do that, edit some code, and add stuff to my McMaster order it'll be the greatest thing ever. Bonus point if it will somehow control the shop radio or run Mach3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    If I can do that, edit some code, and add stuff to my McMaster order it'll be the greatest thing ever. Bonus point if it will somehow control the shop radio or run Mach3.
    Amazon has some cheap 2u used servers that would do it no problem. 10 year old equipment but Enterprise grade stuff. Add a pcie graphics card and it would handle 4 desktops simultaneously

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    Amazon has some cheap 2u used servers that would do it no problem. 10 year old equipment but Enterprise grade stuff. Add a pcie graphics card and it would handle 4 desktops simultaneously

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    Talk to me like I'm 80, and remember when electrons were invented.

    What does this mean, and how can I benefit from it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    Talk to me like I'm 80, and remember when electrons were invented.

    What does this mean, and how can I benefit from it?
    Do you think you're up to the task of setting up VMware or Microsoft's virtualization? If not it might be best to hire it out.

    But if you're up to the task....

    https://www.amazon.com/Virtualizatio...6782821&sr=8-4

    We have one of these.

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    Do you think you're up to the task of setting up VMware or Microsoft's virtualization? If not it might be best to hire it out.

    But if you're up to the task....

    https://www.amazon.com/Virtualizatio...6782821&sr=8-4

    We have one of these.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    I was half joking with the age thing, I'm only 33. I am certain I can set this up to work if I can sift through enough techie stuff to get up to speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    I was half joking with the age thing, I'm only 33. I am certain I can set this up to work if I can sift through enough techie stuff to get up to speed.
    Plus you're localish to me. May be able to help you out.

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    it is difficult to see the performance gain from virtualization of those CAD/CAM workstations when compared to connecting to them on a 10G LAN with a remote desktop, there should be no to very little lag using Windows remote desktop especially on hardwired 10G LAN, unless there is very heavy traffic or bottlenecks somewhere and if you're affected by these now, they will bring down the performance of virtual machines as well

    I hope you're using Windows remote desktop, not something like Teamviewer or similar

    I would rather keep those workstations as they are and set up VPN for users connecting from home (after establishing connection they would use same Win remote desktop, or access their user data directly on servers if they have the CAD/CAM software on their home pc), organize the network storage, keep all user data on servers, nothing locally and if those are Windows workstations, as I said, with proper hardwired LAN, there would be basically no lag at all connecting to them over LAN, users connecting from home will be affected by Internet connection speed and latency of course, on both ends

    virtual machine running somewhere on a server and thin client is basically a remote desktop connection to said virtual machine server running the machine, the only upside here could be the ease of maintaining the virtual host, keeping everything backed up etc, not having to do this on a dozen separate workstations

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    Quote Originally Posted by jz79 View Post
    it is difficult to see the performance gain from virtualization of those CAD/CAM workstations when compared to connecting to them on a 10G LAN with a remote desktop, there should be no to very little lag using Windows remote desktop especially on hardwired 10G LAN, unless there is very heavy traffic or bottlenecks somewhere and if you're affected by these now, they will bring down the performance of virtual machines as well

    I hope you're using Windows remote desktop, not something like Teamviewer or similar

    I would rather keep those workstations as they are and set up VPN for users connecting from home (after establishing connection they would use same Win remote desktop, or access their user data directly on servers if they have the CAD/CAM software on their home pc), organize the network storage, keep all user data on servers, nothing locally and if those are Windows workstations, as I said, with proper hardwired LAN, there would be basically no lag at all connecting to them over LAN, users connecting from home will be affected by Internet connection speed and latency of course, on both ends

    virtual machine running somewhere on a server and thin client is basically a remote desktop connection to said virtual machine server running the machine, the only upside here could be the ease of maintaining the virtual host, keeping everything backed up etc, not having to do this on a dozen separate workstations
    It is basically a remote desktop except that it's designed for it. The resolution will be better also and supporting dual screen natively.

    We have done some testing with a less powerful server and it works like I want. I just need to scale it up.

    The price of ups at each work station, all the extra cables, maintenance, it all adds up...something centralized makes more sense.



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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    I've built a company that does over $20,000,000 in sales a year for the last 5 years....
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    Does the success of your business have to come up in every thread? I think you have some legitimate and well meaning contributions to make, but the lack of humility makes this feel like it was just an excuse to tell the internet how much money you are going to spend on computers.

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