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iCS for PDF Performance
One of the nice features of iCS for PDF is that it is customizable as far as adjusting the speed. How fast you can run iCS for PDF is dependent on how much RAM and CPU’s you have on the server.
Good Starting point - 4 CPU’s with 8 GBs of RAM
Better Starting point - 8 CPU’s with 16 GBs of RAM
There are four processors that can be adjusted for performance
The Begin Processor, new in iCS for PDF CONNECT Edition, is responsible for performing job initialization tasks. For large incremental jobs, these tasks may take a significant amount of time and block other jobs from starting. If your workflow involves large incremental jobs, or multiple jobs starting simultaneously, configuring two or more Begin Processors can improve performance.
The extraction processor copies down the files to the iCS for PDF server.
The InterPlot Processors creates the output files (i.e. PDF). It is a combination of InterPlot Organizer and a publishing engine. Each InterPlot processor starts its own iplotorg.exe which in turn starts the publishing engine (i.e. mstation.exe) to process the input data. After 50 jobs, the iplotorg.exe will restart.
The ProjectWise Connector moves the output files to the destination (back into PW).
To configure the processors, run the Bentley i-model Composition Server Configuration in “Run as Administrator” mode. This configuration will read the initial setup from the Orchestration Framework database. Accept the defaults until you get to the following dialog:
Choose "Custom" to specify the number of processors – be sure to scroll down:
The key to optimizing iCS for PDF is to set a base number and watch the CPU and RAM as you process a large job and make sure that the CPU and RAM do not spike. Many variables can alter this ratio:
A good starting point is 2 Begin Processors, 2 Extraction Processors, 6 InterPlot Processors and 2 ProjectWise Connectors. After you have set the processors, run a large job, say over 100 files and watch the CPU and RAM. The CPU will spike at the beginning as the Begin/Extraction processors start to download/process the files and with MicroStation starting up and then level off. If the CPU stays low then you will want to increase InterPlot Processors. If the CPU stays high then you will want to lower the InterPlot Processors. The Begin/Extraction processors and Connectors can stay at 1 or 2 for each because these processors copy down the files faster than the InterPlot Processors can process the files and the Connector can upload them faster than the InterPlot Processors can finish processing.
Typically, adding more than 2 is not an optimum use of the CPU unless you have over 10 InterPlot Processors. The Extractors and Connectors finish so fast that if there are multiple ones not doing anything, they are consuming resources that the InterPlot processors cannot use.
The key to tuning your iCS performance is to not allow CPU’s to stay pegged out, because when that happens, everything will slow down and cause a bottleneck. Try to stay under 80%. When tuned correctly you should be able to process files more effectively, depending on the size of the file and workspace attached.
Additional performance tips:
Configuring an iCS Server Farm
Install iCS for PDF on additional servers. Use the same OF database and working folder (which will be a shared UNC folder located on the primary iCS server). When configuring iCS for PDF on the additional servers, select Custom, deselect “Create an Orchestration instance”, and increase the number of IPLOT processors.
In Bentley i-model Composition Server Administrator, right click on the “Bentley iCS for PDF” instance and select Monitor. In the lower right corner, select "Switch To Editor”.
When in Editor mode, the icons are as follows, left to right:
Drag the IPLOT processors over from the Processors list on the left into the graph area. In the diagram below, the "Display Text" icon was selected to show the queue names.
Once completed, the graph will look like the following:
Choose the "Auto Arrange" icon and then "Switch To Monitor":
The picture below shows the details on the graph. You can see InterPlot Processors for the primary iCS server – GENTRYCEICS and the new InterPlot Processors for the secondary iCS server – GENTRYFTR.
The additional server will be used to process the PDF files in InterPlot Organizer – this is where the heavy workload takes place on an iCS for PDF server.
Contact Bentley ProjectWise Support for any questions regarding these steps.