Working from home and slow internet speeds with Tekla Model Sharing


Software version: Not version-specific

Last updated June 25, 2020 by Tekla Global Support tekla.structures.ghd@trimble.com

Environment: 
Not environment-specific

Working from home and slow internet speeds with Tekla Model Sharing

Question:
What are requirements for internet connection speed while working with Tekla Model Sharing? We have many employees now working from home and they are experiencing long read-in  and write-out times and for some of them it can fail from time to time.

Answer:
Tekla Model sharing does not have any minimal requirements for internet speed. The only limit is the maximum time for upload/download token. For security reasons the upload/download token validity time is limited to max 6 hours. In practice this means that if a single packet upload/download takes more than 6 hours the operation will fail with error message:


 

Possible reasons include:
  1. There are some large files in the model folder which you are trying to upload to the shared model. E.g. huge reference files or other junk files stored in the model folder. There is no limit to upload package size, but you should consider what is uploaded and shared. Please see this article on how to exclude files and folders from sharing.
  2. Your internet connection's download / upload speed may be insufficient if you are trying to upload a huge packet. If you are not sure of what your internet upload/download speed is, you can check it using a variety of free tools available online.
  3. There is a random network communication problem appearing especially with large baselines or packets. For more information see Model Sharing: Joining or read-in large number of packets sometimes hanging
See the table below for different upload / download speeds and theoretical approximate time (hh:mm:ss) it takes to upload/download a packet to/from Shared Model. The table is for informative purposes only.
 

 

Packet size

Internet speed

 100 KB

1 MB 

10 MB

100 MB

1 GB

10 GB

100 kbps

00:00:08

00:01:20

00:13:20

02:13:20

22:13:20
(operation will fail after ~270 MB)

222:13:20
(operation will fail after ~270 MB)

1 Mbps

00:00:01

00:00:08

00:01:20

00:13:20

02:13:20

22:13:20
(operation will fail after ~2700 MB)

5 Mbps

00:00:00

00:00:02

00:00:16

00:02:40

00:26:40

04:26:40

10 Mbps

00:00:00

00:00:01

00:00:08

00:01:20

00:13:20

02:13:20

20 Mbps

00:00:00

00:00:00

00:00:04

00:00:40

00:06:40

01:06:40

50 Mbps

00:00:00

00:00:00

00:00:02

00:00:16

00:02:40

00:26:40

100 Mbps*

00:00:00

00:00:00

00:00:01

00:00:08

00:01:20

00:13:20

*In our tests we have observed upload/download speeds up to 120 Mbps/160 Mbps on Tekla Model Sharing service end.

KB - kilobyte, MB - megabyte, GB - gigabyte

kbps - kilobit per second
Mbps - megabit per second

Please keep in mind that this table shows only theoretical values. Internet connections provided for homes are often asymmetrical, which means that upload and download speeds differ. Many users now struggle with connections that have 10 Mbps download speed, but just 1 Mbps upload.
In theory, having such an internet connection of 10/1 Mbps speed would mean that you can safely write-out (upload) more than 2GB of data (It would take 4,5 hours but it's possible). 
In practice, your actual internet speed may be fluctuating as speeds given by providers are mostly theoretical maximum speeds available. This means that your actual speed might be 8 Mbps download and 0,8 Mbps upload or lower and fluctuating over time. Please keep in mind that your internet connection is not only reserved for Tekla Structures. Other applications might be taking a significant portion of available bandwidth. Also please keep in mind that other people might be using the same internet connection and also limit the bandwidth available to you. 
Also, some internet connections are more prone for random disconnects. People living in more remote areas are using mobile/radio networks which are in general less reliable and can lose range from time to time. Such disruptions can cause for write-out/read-in to fail.
So in practice: 0,8 Mbps upload speed means that writing out 2GB of data at is going to take 5h 57min. It is very slow and it is very close to the limit so it's most likely to fail.

From practical point of view: working with 1Mbps upload is possible, but only with it being very stable and not shared with other applications/users that take up a significant portion of the bandwidth. Even more if you are working with small packet sizes. As you can see from above table, 5 Mbps upload/download and above is where work starts to be really comfortable and even big packets take reasonable times to download/upload. 

Tags: 
model sharing
TMS
Tekla Model Sharing
Internet connection
speed

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