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Autodesk AutoCAD 2014

Riverbed Steelhead Accelerates AutoCAD 2014

Architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms depend heavily on AutoCAD® to bring efficiencies to the design process and to tackle their most challenging design problems. While the application is an outstanding tool for firms to standardize on for design purposes, organizations have found that the drawing files can sometimes exceed hundreds of megabytes in size on larger projects. Design engineers can spend over an hour a day just waiting for files to open and close. These delays impact productivity and overall time-to-market for customers, and ultimately, delivery to the client.


Up to 7 times faster Bandwidth Utilization is reduced by up to 97%


The test environment to obtain the results described in this brief consisted of:

AutoCAD installed on Windows 7 client

Windows Server 2008 R2 as the remote file server

A WAN Simulator set to emulate a T1 connection with a 100ms delay between locations. This scenario would be typical of a WAN link between San Francisco and New York.

An approximately 9 MB .dwg file in AutoCAD 2014 format was used to do the testing. The steps followed were:

1. Open a local AutoCAD file

2. Save as to a remote file share Cold

3. Save Warm

Documents that used to take 20 minutes to download now take, at a maximum, 16 seconds.- Einstein Noah Restaurant Group

Riverbed® Steelhead® appliances can accelerate AutoCAD 2014 by up to 7 times - while cutting WAN bandwidth

consumption by up to 97%. By dramatically accelerating the performance of AutoCAD 2014 over the WAN, distributed AEC firms can quickly access large files for the design and development of new projects, resulting in real-time collaboration for employees in multi-site environments.

Steelhead Optimized AutoCAD 2014

Deploying Riverbed Steelhead products along with AutoCAD 2014 software can greatly reduce the amount of time required to open, save and transfer CAD documents across the wide area network (WAN). As a result, organizations can achieve LAN-like access speeds of centralized design documents and improve the collaboration and productivity of their design specialists. This gives firms the opportunity to source people on projects regardless of their location and enables real-time collaboration on designs across distributed teams.

The Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS™) utilizes industry-leading data streamlining, transport streamlining, and application streamlining to provide data de-duplication, compression, transport layer and application protocol optimization. These optimizations cut AutoCAD traffic on the WAN by as much as 97% and accelerate access times by up to 7 times.

Performance Improvements

This chapter outlines the performance improvements to expect with a distributed AutoCAD architecture optimized by Riverbed Steelhead appliances. Performance is compared against a baseline with no Steelhead optimization. The Testing Parameters sidebar describes the process used to obtain the below graphs. The results provided here are also applicable to AutoCAD 2013.



Warm Up to 7x Faster  

Up to 7x Faster




Without Steelhead













Time in seconds


Saving an AutoCAD document completes up to 7 times faster when optimized by Riverbed Steelhead appliances. Design Engineers will spend less time waiting for documents to save and be free to spend more time on productive work.



Without Steelhead

Up to 97% data reduction
Up to 97% data reduction
Up to 97% data reduction

Up to 97% data reduction

Up to 97% data reduction
Up to 97% data reduction
Up to 97% data reduction
Up to 97% data reduction
Up to 97% data reduction






WAN Bandwidth in MB







AutoCAD operations will take up 97% less bandwidth when optimized by Riverbed Steelhead appliances. Riverbed Steelhead data de-duplication techniques will remove all redundant data from the WAN, ensuring efficient operations and reduced IT costs.

the WAN, ensuring efficient operations and reduced IT costs. DEPLOYMENT BENEFITS Deploying Riverbed in conjunction


Deploying Riverbed in conjunction with AutoCAD 2014 provides multiple benefits, including:

Productivity gains. By dramatically reducing the amount of time needed to complete basic CAD file operations, engineers can save an hour per day or more.

Reduced bandwidth utilization. Steelhead products reduce bandwidth utilization from remote offices that rely on accessing CAD documents located on networked file servers in other offices, reducing IT costs.

Better, faster collaboration. By reducing the time to transfer CAD files by an order or magnitude or more, Steelhead products enable users in multiple offices to work collaboratively on large design documents. Work can be shifted to offices with downtime, or the right person can work on a task regardless of their location.

Remote office server consolidation. LAN-like WAN performance means that server consolidation becomes a reality, and remote IT infrastructure can be reduced or eliminated. IT maintenance costs can be reduced, and the tasks of upgrading and patching servers can be greatly simplified

About Riverbed

Riverbed delivers performance for the globally connected enterprise. With Riverbed, enterprises can successfully and intelligently implement strategic initiatives such as virtualization, consolidation, cloud computing, and disaster recovery without fear of compromising performance. By giving enterprises the platform they need to understand, optimize and consolidate their IT, Riverbed helps enterprises to build a fast, fluid and dynamic IT architecture that aligns with the business needs of the organization. Additional information about Riverbed (NASDAQ: RVBD) is available at

Riverbed (NASDAQ: RVBD) is available at . Riverbed Technology, Inc. 199 Fremont Street San Francisco,

Riverbed Technology, Inc. 199 Fremont Street San Francisco, CA 94105 Tel: (415) 247-8800

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