Extracting Value from Cloud based Revit Projects to Boost Team Productivity


Are you extracting the most value possible from your Revit project data?  Are you using it to help improve the productivity of your designers?  With our new cloud-based Revit visualization application, we want to help you do both.  

Most of you are well aware that one of Panzura’s most unique and sought after features is real-time global collaboration. This feature is made possible by our global filesystem.  We have spent years perfecting our global filesystem to appear to all users everywhere as a single NAS appliance or Windows server. We do it by coupling the high-speed networks and near-infinite capacity of the cloud providers with peer-to-peer communication between our on-prem filers to cache, coordinate, and orchestrate access to each file, even down to the byte level.

There are countless global filesystems that have failed to live up to the hype because they simply couldn’t scale. The fully or near-fully connected topologies fundamentally possess transport requirements that simply cannot scale to meet Enterprise-level demand.

A hub-and-spoke architecture with a cloud service provider at the core provides the infrastructure needed to scale. All changes propagate through the cloud reducing the amount of data uploaded by each site. And the data downloaded is only that is needed by the users at each site, that is the working set. We have customers that are running their filesystem at hundreds of locations.

To provide real-time updates, if changes are needed that have not had time to propagate through the cloud, they are sent peer-to-peer. And lightweight and nimble messaging between the filers communicates the information necessary, eg., leases, file handles, change notifications, etc, to prevent different users at different locations from stomping on each others’ work. We have always chosen to enforce one active copy of every file (single source of truth) to eliminate conflicts and the resulting painful integrations and duplicated work they demand.

All of this amazing functionality allows end-users anywhere to work on the same projects at the same time, even edit the same files at the same time, all the while still enjoying LAN performance. This functionality has certainly been very compelling with the AEC industry as many of the popular applications used by these companies are designed for collaboration. The increasingly popular Revit application is a perfect example.  Before Panzura, designers would be flown to the same location to work on a project. Now, they can stay put and collaborate on that project from anywhere in the world. Many of our customers have saved millions of dollars in travel costs alone.

Unlocking the power of data with Vizion.ai Revit Application

Not too long ago, we released our Vizion.ai service that allows companies to extract more value from their data. Its heart is an ELK stack (Elastic Search, Logstash, and Kibana) that can index any data or metadata, enabling complex and time-based searches to perform tasks like searching for sensitive data, file access patterns, and user activity.  Our File, Elastic, and Log services (FSS, ESS, and LAS respectively) are built on top of the ELK stack.  Now, we have started to release applications that run on top of these services. One that I am very excited about is our Revit App.  It was designed with help from many of the pillars of the AEC industry.

Revit analytics dashboard

The Vizion.ai Revit app uses the filer logs and the Revit SLOG files to provide the analytics necessary to easily monitor the performance and usage of your projects.  Using the ELK Filebeats and Logstash, the filer logs and Revit SLOG files are parsed and uploaded to the Vizion time-series database.  Elasticsearch and Kibana allow this data to be searched and visualized. The Revit app provides a dashboard that presents the results from customer-recommended queries. For example, it displays the number of active projects and users, how long syncing-with-central is taking, etc.  And if you drill down into one project, you can see exactly when a designer opened or synced-with-central over any time period, including how long each operation took.  This helps when trying to decide when best to optimize a model to help reduce SwC times and improve productivity. And these timelines help you troubleshoot when something goes wrong to help prevent future occurrences.

And we have only just begun. We plan to continue to add functionality to our application and extend it to other AEC applications as our customers’ request. I encourage you to sign up to the Vizion.ai service and start using its Revit app. The more feedback we get, the better it will get.  And your designers (and company) will continually benefit from the clear value it unlocks.

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