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Internet performance and Onshape

malcolm_smith_1malcolm_smith_1 Member Posts: 44
This is a query regarding how Onshape performance is affected by internet performance and whether there are any guidelines regarding minimum internet speed for reliability. Our company currently uses Inventor for modeling and we would need to import some fairly large assemblies into Onshape (up to 1GB size in Inventor terms) and we would be creating similar size assemblies with Onshape in the future. I have been conducting some tests of our network performance recently and have found that our download speed is very variable, depending on network traffic, and can vary between 2 and 70 Mbps during the day. Is this going to be sufficient? We may have up to 5 CAD users working simultaneously in addition to 50 non CAD users at this site sharing the same network.


  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,205
    edited April 2018
    @malcolm_smith334 - This is a great question. Here is the Cliff-Notes version of the answer.

    Onshape is a 100% cloud based solution. This is awesome, there is nothing to download, nothing to install and no files to manage or move around.
    Your CAD system and data are available on any device that you sign into.

    No data (other than a bucket of triangles) is stored on the client machine - there is no IP (intellectual property whatsoever).
    Once you sign out, you can walk away from the machine.

    Onshape DOES require an internet connect - its demands are very modest.

    Onshape does not screen-scrape or run a VDI or any other 'old' technology.
    Compute happens in the cloud and rendering is done locally.

    Here are some basic transactions that occur (some are 'idealized' to make the descriptions simpler);

    A new document never opened before will require a finite period of time to transfer the triangles to be rendered. The length of time this takes is dependent partially on the bandwidth or your connection.

    While working on a document, each 'transaction' is a small message sent back to the server. There may or may not be a response. A response may include new triangles that replace old ones on the client. Only the new triangles are sent. This is very efficient. 

    Some transactions are 'chatty' - eg dragging a sketch requires multiple solutions to be passed from the constraint solver. The amount of data transferred is 'tiny', The biggest factor here is the ping time between you and Onshape. Please contact Onshape support if you believe that your ping times may be long (as a very rough characterization - here in Cambridge MA to the servers in Portland OR and back is in the range of 30 - 40 milliseconds. Anything under 100ms (approx) will give you 'very good' performance. If your ping is longer, the effect is generally only noticed during chatty events.

    So - what does that mean for your internet connection at work?
    Uploading and downloading of Inventor files will take a finite time.
    Using Onshape has very modest requirements (we run off a tethered 3G connection many times in the field - works just fine).
    Internet use does NOT scale linearly with users - because the messages are small and infrequent, that same connection can support many users. 
    Theoretically, if multiple users simultaneously opened never-before-opened documents, there could be a noticeable increase in open times. In reality, this almost never happens.

    Performance on the client end is almost entirely made up of graphics card performance.
    using this tool - cad.onshape.com/check - a professional user will want somewhere north of 50 million triangles per second.
    If you have less, click on the 'performance recommendations' link.

    Bottom line - your internet is probably fine. 
    Try it. If you don't like what experience, tell us.

    I hope this helps.

    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,205
    edited April 2018
    Here is a bit of fun.
    Using a tool to degrade my internet connection to that of a 3G connection (wow thats old!) - here is an assembly being opened in real time.
    220 unique parts, 830 instances. I am sitting in Cambridge MA (Onshape HQ) and the US servers are as far away from me as possible (6000 mile round trip).

    17 seconds to open to ready to rock and roll - again that's over 3G
    On the office internet the open time is less than 7.5 seconds.

    Even on 3G. this is WAY faster than you could ever hope to check out the assembly from a PDM vault, copy it locally and open it.
    WAY FASTER! :)

    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • malcolm_smith_1malcolm_smith_1 Member Posts: 44
    Thanks Philip, that's a very helpful answer.
  • malcolm_smith_1malcolm_smith_1 Member Posts: 44
    Thinking about this a bit further, is it the case that a part or assembly that has lots of fine detail, e.g. hundreds or thousands of small holes, or many irregular bspline surfaces, might take longer to download than a simpler object, regardless of the actual file sizes or numbers of individual components?
  • Jake_RosenfeldJake_Rosenfeld Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,203
    Hi @malcolm_smith_1 !

    Great question.  Short answer: you're right. It will take longer to load a complicated tessellation than a simple tessellation.  Parts in Onshape aren't backed by files, so "file size" isn't really a useful metric, and yes, the complexity of the geometry is the important factor when considering load times rather than the number of parts.

    Longer answer: We put a considerable effort into making sure that you need to load the smallest amount of geometry possible, to guarantee you the fastest load time.  If you are visiting a Part Studio or Assembly for the first time ever, there is no way of getting around having to load its geometry.  But, if you are already in a complicated Part Studio and make a minor change, we don't have to send the full set of geometry again.  We have a number of caching layers both on the client and the backend to ensure that load times are as optimized as possible (and we're always thinking of new ways to improve this further!).
    Jake Rosenfeld - Modeling Team
  • malcolm_smith_1malcolm_smith_1 Member Posts: 44
    Thanks Jake.
  • hardiktechiehardiktechie Member Posts: 3
    Onshape takes lot of time for me to load, even on 10mbps speed
  • Jake_RosenfeldJake_Rosenfeld Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,203

    What kind of results do you see on:
    Jake Rosenfeld - Modeling Team
  • hardiktechiehardiktechie Member Posts: 3
    It's working fine after I enabled my connection as meter connection 
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