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Attn all IT managers dealing with Adobe CS3/CS4

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Attn all IT managers dealing with Adobe CS3/CS4

Twistedpear
Id like to hear from the admins dealing with a significant amount of Adobe CS3/CS4 users, in a LAN/Server environment.
What are the specs of the machines (PC's) that run it well ?
Are you using font managers ?
Are you the users editing files located on teh server ?
Im running all machines well above Adobe spec, Server 03 domain, Gbit Lan, Citrix ASA router.
The guys here are of course whining about Macs, but they also state that font manager software would help resource usage on the workstations. When the apps launch in the AM, performance is great, as the day wears on, machine performance lags, and PS or Illustrator will eat itself. Event viewer has no other details except for App Hang.
Just wondering of there is something I could be doing to better help these guys.

Anyone have thoughts on this ?

Keith
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    Kingbackwards

    At the company I work we utilize both the Design, and Production suites of Adobe CS3/CS4.

    We primarily utilize Flash, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

    The machines we use are as follows:
    Windows XP 64
    Xeon X3220 2.4GHZ Quad core
    4Gig for animators
    8Gig for graphic designers.

    Our graphic designers do use a font manager (extensis suitcase)

    We use their version tracking software (version cue) in some limited capacity.

    But users don't usually edit files ON the server, the copy them local and then edit them from there. There's lots of cache data, and unless you specify a local drive as the cache data location. I could see that being quite sluggish.

    As far as the font issue, if your users have ~5000+ fonts, it will help. Two of our guys have 25000+ fonts. Having them all enabled visibly affects boot and load times. (as apposed to the ~500 standard fonts with the adobe suite and windows.)

    Depending on your machine specs, and the size of the files being working on. Having to restart the application at some point during the day is almost a necessary evil.

    As far as the Mac vs. PC. If you get Macs, you'll have guys who want PC. Thats just how that goes. But I'd recommend a fairly beefy workstation. And set some standardized tiers of workstations a Class A and Class B workstation. (plus this can reduce maintenance costs as you only have 2 sets of parts you need to keep on hand and can easily swap to replace) Doing this really cuts down on the whining, because then there is no favoritism.

    And you can make a compelling cost argument for going PC instead of Mac. So if the user is complaining that they are "faster" on a Mac. Kindly explain that you've saved a grand or more by having a PC with comparable specs and if they cant figure out the commands in a $1000 worth of man hours maybe they aren't as good of a adobe suite user as they claimed. (this is stated a bit harsh, but kept it straight forward in the example for simplicity's sake, as there are nicer ways to make this point.)

    Hopefully this helps, even if it is an older question.

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    Twistedpear

    King,
    Thanks for the info. Can you elaborate on your statement:
    "But users don't usually edit files ON the server, the copy them local and then edit them from there. There's lots of cache data, and unless you specify a local drive as the cache data location. I could see that being quite sluggish."

    Are you referring to the "scratch" drive ?

    Keith

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    0 Votes
    Kingbackwards

    Yes, I was referring to the scratch drive settings. (Sorry its scratch not cache, got my terms mixed up)

    I've never done a full test to see if copying the file to the local machine, editing, and copying it back performs better than just editing it from the server. The users prefer to do it that way so I recommend it.

    But logic would dictate that you get better read/write throughput from a local drive than from a network location. (especially on large files, some of the photoshop files we have here get in the 1-3gig range.) And the network traffic is just a one time download and upload.

    And then the users have to be careful not to overwrite the wrong file. But thats when have proper naming conventions, workflow, and/or a Version control system becomes important.

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    0 Votes
    Twistedpear

    Im wondering if it would be beneficial to go ahead and use partition out a "scratch" drive. Guess its worth a try.
    The guys here are working with MANY MANY small files throughout the day.. so copy/edit/copy back wouldnt be a good thing. Otherwise... why even have a server and gbit enet.
    We were also finding that the well-known memory hog that is Firefox isnt helping matters either. Editing the config files on 25 machines doesnt sound very appetizing..

    Keith

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    0 Votes
    Kingbackwards

    Then you really should look into deploying a Version Cue server. A network share is great for general purpose but with version cue it runs through adobe bridge and can really help the work flow. It's a digital asset management systems. This wiki article gives a bit of an intro to what DAM's are all about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_asset_management

    But more specifically, you can open a file immediately over the network while it downloads the file into cache in the background. Or run a "syncronize" and it will pull down all the files in a folder and then they opening from the cached files but appearing as a remote file. And when the users then saves only the delta goes back to the server.

    It also has all these fancy meta-data tag management options for ease in searching. And allows for versioning. And with an independent "trash" it prevents accidental deletion.

    The server comes on a couple of the suite packages, (design and masters, I think). Its worth trying out (If you haven't already) and may help with some of the performance issues also. And it doesn't take much to run and without knowing anything about your setup I would wager if you have a windows or mac file server, it should run on it just fine.

  • +
    0 Votes
    Kingbackwards

    At the company I work we utilize both the Design, and Production suites of Adobe CS3/CS4.

    We primarily utilize Flash, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

    The machines we use are as follows:
    Windows XP 64
    Xeon X3220 2.4GHZ Quad core
    4Gig for animators
    8Gig for graphic designers.

    Our graphic designers do use a font manager (extensis suitcase)

    We use their version tracking software (version cue) in some limited capacity.

    But users don't usually edit files ON the server, the copy them local and then edit them from there. There's lots of cache data, and unless you specify a local drive as the cache data location. I could see that being quite sluggish.

    As far as the font issue, if your users have ~5000+ fonts, it will help. Two of our guys have 25000+ fonts. Having them all enabled visibly affects boot and load times. (as apposed to the ~500 standard fonts with the adobe suite and windows.)

    Depending on your machine specs, and the size of the files being working on. Having to restart the application at some point during the day is almost a necessary evil.

    As far as the Mac vs. PC. If you get Macs, you'll have guys who want PC. Thats just how that goes. But I'd recommend a fairly beefy workstation. And set some standardized tiers of workstations a Class A and Class B workstation. (plus this can reduce maintenance costs as you only have 2 sets of parts you need to keep on hand and can easily swap to replace) Doing this really cuts down on the whining, because then there is no favoritism.

    And you can make a compelling cost argument for going PC instead of Mac. So if the user is complaining that they are "faster" on a Mac. Kindly explain that you've saved a grand or more by having a PC with comparable specs and if they cant figure out the commands in a $1000 worth of man hours maybe they aren't as good of a adobe suite user as they claimed. (this is stated a bit harsh, but kept it straight forward in the example for simplicity's sake, as there are nicer ways to make this point.)

    Hopefully this helps, even if it is an older question.

    +
    0 Votes
    Twistedpear

    King,
    Thanks for the info. Can you elaborate on your statement:
    "But users don't usually edit files ON the server, the copy them local and then edit them from there. There's lots of cache data, and unless you specify a local drive as the cache data location. I could see that being quite sluggish."

    Are you referring to the "scratch" drive ?

    Keith

    +
    0 Votes
    Kingbackwards

    Yes, I was referring to the scratch drive settings. (Sorry its scratch not cache, got my terms mixed up)

    I've never done a full test to see if copying the file to the local machine, editing, and copying it back performs better than just editing it from the server. The users prefer to do it that way so I recommend it.

    But logic would dictate that you get better read/write throughput from a local drive than from a network location. (especially on large files, some of the photoshop files we have here get in the 1-3gig range.) And the network traffic is just a one time download and upload.

    And then the users have to be careful not to overwrite the wrong file. But thats when have proper naming conventions, workflow, and/or a Version control system becomes important.

    +
    0 Votes
    Twistedpear

    Im wondering if it would be beneficial to go ahead and use partition out a "scratch" drive. Guess its worth a try.
    The guys here are working with MANY MANY small files throughout the day.. so copy/edit/copy back wouldnt be a good thing. Otherwise... why even have a server and gbit enet.
    We were also finding that the well-known memory hog that is Firefox isnt helping matters either. Editing the config files on 25 machines doesnt sound very appetizing..

    Keith

    +
    0 Votes
    Kingbackwards

    Then you really should look into deploying a Version Cue server. A network share is great for general purpose but with version cue it runs through adobe bridge and can really help the work flow. It's a digital asset management systems. This wiki article gives a bit of an intro to what DAM's are all about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_asset_management

    But more specifically, you can open a file immediately over the network while it downloads the file into cache in the background. Or run a "syncronize" and it will pull down all the files in a folder and then they opening from the cached files but appearing as a remote file. And when the users then saves only the delta goes back to the server.

    It also has all these fancy meta-data tag management options for ease in searching. And allows for versioning. And with an independent "trash" it prevents accidental deletion.

    The server comes on a couple of the suite packages, (design and masters, I think). Its worth trying out (If you haven't already) and may help with some of the performance issues also. And it doesn't take much to run and without knowing anything about your setup I would wager if you have a windows or mac file server, it should run on it just fine.