This article desribes a typical set-up for distributing the various tasks performed by InfoWorks ICM. While reading the article, please refer to the graphic on the right.
The two smaller blue circles represent standard desktop PC’s or Laptops. Neither would need to be particularly powerful computers as they would normally only be used to create models or analyse results, not perform an actual Simulation. However, the PC represented by the left-most blue circle is the more powerful of the two and could, if needs be, be used to run a Simulation locally on the users own machine. The larger blue circle on the right-hand-side represents a Virtual Server. This could be a Citrix Server or Powerful Windows Terminal Server. In the configuration shown, it is being used to provide virtual desktop environments for three users (i.e. day-to-day office tasks and ICM Model Build work). InfoWorks ICM Simulations should NEVER be run on a Server that’s used to provide a virtual desktop environment. The InfoWorks Simulation Engine is specifically designed to grab 90%-95% of the available resources it finds on the host machine to ensure simulations run as quickly as possible. If a Simulation is run on a server that’s also providing a virtual desktop environment, the user experience will be severely compromised while simulations are in progress.
The three green circles shown at the top of the graphic represent High Performance servers. These are powerful, often specialist, machines, with hardware that is specifically configured to get the best out of InfoWorks ICM Simulations. One or more would typically be equipped with a high-spec GPU card to further enhance the calculations performed for 2D models. These dedicated servers would be remote from the end-users and would just be used to run Simulations. No one would actually log-on to these machines for day-to-day tasks.
The green circle in the centre of the graphic represents a file server. This machine has also been given the task of acting as the InfoWorks ICM Workgroup Coordinator. This is a good role for a file server. The task requires little processing power, but is critical to maintaining communication between the User PC’s and the Simulation Servers, so needs to be a machine that is ‘always-on’ and rarely re-booted. A dedicated file-server is ideal in this respect. In its role as a File Server, the machine acts as the central store where the InfoWorks database is located and where all results are saved back to once a Simulation completes on one of the dedicated Simulation Servers.
On a smaller scale
The outline above would be the type of set-up typically found in a large organisation, such as a Utility Company or a Major Consultancy. But, of course, many people use InfoWorks ICM within a much smaller, office type, environment. In such situations, the configuration might look more like the graphic shown on the right. In this type of setup, the office computers are linked up to provide a flexible set of resources on which the different InfoWorks ICM tasks can be performed.
There are now a number of articles in the Innovyze Blog which will be of great help in establishing an optimum configuration for your set-up. The articles below are all recomended reading.
- Optimum configurations for InfoWorks ICM Simulations
- Is RAM important for InfoWorks ICM Simulations?
- Powerful Simulation Options in InfoWorks ICM
- Which GPU card is best for InfoWorks ICM?
- Why is it so difficult to predict run times in 1D/2D models?
In addition to the Blog articles, don’t forget there’s also 29 video tutorials for InfoWorks ICM which are available on YouTube and also from the ‘Video Showcase’ section of Innovyze website. The links below go directly to them.
- YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCDE257168C556836&feature=plcp
- Innovyze Website – http://www.innovyze.com/icm
In particular, you should review the following videos.
- Migrating a Database from InfoWorks CS to InfoWorks ICM
- Choosing the right type of Database (standalone or workgroup)
- Configuring a Workgroup in InfoWorks ICM
- Setting up and running multiple simulations in an InfoWorks ICM Workgroup
The content played from YouTube is available in High Definition (720p HD), but you will need to select this manually if required. The content played from the ‘Video Showcase’ section of Innovyze website will play in HD by default.