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Archive Management and Relocation – Part 2 – Distribution

SOLIDWORKS PDM Tech Tip

Written by: Bryce Hooper, Application Engineer

It is important to know that the location where our data is stored is not a place that is forever set in stone. There will always be situations where we need more space, more speed, or – in a bad situation – have a failing drive. Here, we can find the methods used to relocate and redistribute our vault storage.

Distribution

The archive file store can be relocated into as many as 16 locations. This load split is done from the archive server and can be done to any directories or drives that the server has access to. This can be drives that are located on the network or physically attached to the server. This is the best method for addressing space concerns that doesn’t result in an entire server move as we are adapting the hardware that we are using instead of removing data.

Built-in Archive Relocation

We start this process by launching the Archive Server Configuration application from the start menu. If, upon launch, a dialog is not shown, check the task tray by the clock as in the image below. Right click this and select “Open”.

PDM Archive Server Configuration Application

In the tool, you will find your vault(s) listed in the main pane by selecting “This Computer” and the folder that is located underneath that. Select the vault that we want to relocate and right click. Select “Relocate” from the menu that shows.

Note:  The directory that contains your vaults may be different than the image below.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server

The resulting dialog will give us a few options in how we would like to relocate our vault data. In the example below, I am relocating 25% of my vault structure to a networked location.

Note: It is important to understand that the process moves the 25% of the archive structure NOT 25% of the total sum of data. The archive can be moved in 1/16th increments. This is due to the nature of how the vault is organized. Each file upon entry into the vault is assigned a File ID. This ID is translated into a hexadecimal (base 16) number. Files are organized in the archive based on this number. Each file will land in a folder for the last digit of its hexadecimal ID. This relocation will relocate any number of those 16 folders to a new location. Folders will not be split into different drives and each folder size may vary with the number of versions and actual data size per file of the files located in these folders. 

File Vault Relocation

The relocation dialog will indicate that the percentage of the vault being stored must be 100% across all locations. The total size is displayed numerically along with a color indicator. Green is good and red is either less than or greater than 100%. The dialog will not close if this is the case. Percentages of the archive store are set by clicking the path in the highlighted area and then adjusting the slider. To add more paths, click the “Add” button and direct to a new path. If a full move is being performed, adjust the original path to 0%. Clicking OK will prompt to make sure that all users are logged out of the vault before this move is started. Click OK to start the process from there. A progress dialog will indicate that files are being moved. This process should not be interrupted once started. Allow this to complete and users will be able to log in and use the vault without issue.

Considerations:

If your vault is large, it may be best to relocate in small increments of 1/16th at a time. This will avoid overloading the server during the process and locking up.

Manual Relocation

If your vault is particularly large to the degree of Terabytes (or close to), it may be best to perform a manual move. This method involves fewer dialogs and safety checks, but is still fairly simple.

To start this process, stop the PDM Archive Server service from running. Then, obtain the directory of your current archive data by either looking in the Archive Server Configuration tool as detailed above or look at the registry settings for the archive locations. This will come in handy to have open later, so is the advised method. Open the registry editor and navigate to the following keys.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\ArchiveServer\Vaults\[Vault Name]\ArchiveTable\

PDM Registry Editor

Each of these keys give the specific location to one of our archive folders. Here, we can determine where they currently reside and then alter where the archive will look for that folder once restarted. With the Archive Server Service still stopped, locate one of these folders and manually move it to the new location. Then, change the value for the respective key to the new path. After the move has been completed, the Archive Server Service can be restarted and the change will be in effect.

Disclaimer

Before taking any steps to relocate, remove or compress data, please ensure that all files have been checked in by the users, backups have been taken of both the database and archives. In the event of a relocation, have all users log off or go into Offline Mode before attempting the move.