Offloaded Simulation allows you to solve your SOLIDWORKS Studies on another computer

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated November 18, 2016

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SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2017 introduces SOLIDWORKS Offloaded Simulation where you can solve a study on another computer to free up resources on your machine for parallel tasks.  The equation solving tasks (not meshing) are run on another computer connected on the same network domain.  Solving tasks are run purely on the second computer and not shared between computers (i.e. not cluster computing).  But this allows you to continue working on your machine without using resources for solving.

*Available for SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium licenses with static and nonlinear studies

SOLIDWORKS Offloaded Simulation

SOLIDWORKS Offloaded Simulation

NOTE: Only the coordinator computer requires the SOLIDWORKS and Simulation Premium license.  The node computer (network-connected client computer) requires a small SOLIDWORKS Simulation Worker Agent program installed and active, but no license is used.

Static or Nonlinear studies need to be created on the coordinator machine.  When running the study, the node computer does the calculations and saves to a Temp directory.  Once the solving is completed, results are copied back to the coordinator machine so you can view and post-process the results on your main coordinator machine with the SOLIDWORKS and Simulation license.

Client (Node) Computer — Installing SOLIDWORKS Simulation Worker Agent

On the network-attached computer that will perform the equation calculations, you will need to install and launch the Simulation Worker Agent program.  This is included in the overall SOLIDWORKS Installation files.  Run the Setup.exe on the client machine, choose the Individual Installation and when you get to the Summary page, click on “Change” beside Products to Install.

Installation Manager - Summary Page

Simulation Worker Agent Installation – Summary Page

Only select the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Worker Agent to install.

Simulation Worker Agent Installation - Product Selection

Simulation Worker Agent Installation – Product Selection

Once the installation is complete, launch the Simulation Worker Agent application from Start > All Programs > SOLIDWORKS 2017 > SOLIDWORKS Simulation Worker Agent.  Ensure that it shows the status as Idle so it is available to perform calculations.  Click on Activate Worker Agent if you don’t see the Status information.

Simulation Worker Agent - Idle

Simulation Worker Agent – Idle

SOLIDWORKS Offloaded Simulation Coordinator Computer – Setup and Manage Network Simulation

The coordinator machine is the one with the SOLIDWORKS and Simulation license.  Therefore this is the one where you setup the studies and review you Simulation results.  This is also where you specify which computer on the network to run the Simulation calculations.

After setting up your study, click on the “Offloaded Simulation” button in the Simulation toolbar.  This enables the Intel Network Sparse solver in the study Properties.  Then you can click on Manage Network to see the available computers that have the Simulation Worker Agent application running and idle.

Offloaded Simulation - Manage Network

Offloaded Simulation – Manage Network

Offloaded Simulation - Intel Network Sparse solver

Offloaded Simulation – Intel Network Sparse solver

The top computer in the Manage Network dialog highlighted in green will actually be your local coordinator machine.  Choose another one to have the network client machine run the calculations.  If a computer is shown as red, they are unavailable as they are worker agents already running a job, or an acting coordinator machine with an active offloaded simulation.

While the SOLIDWORKS Offloaded Simulation is running, the client computer will have the Simulation Worker Agent status changed to Active.  Once the study completes its calculations, the results are copied back to the coordinator’s hard drive for post-processing.

Connectivity

To ensure that coordinators and clients can communicate, the following is required:

  • Both coordinator and client machines must be on the same subnetwork.  To test, open Command Prompt and type net view.  This will return a list of computers on the same subnetwork and should show both machines.
  • Make sure that Windows Firewall does not block the following executables of offloaded simulation (by default found under C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared\Simulation Worker Agent):
    • mpiexec.hydra.exe
    • hydra_service.exe
    • pmi_proxy.exe
    • SOLIDWORKS Simulation Worker Agent.exe
  • If the offloaded simulation still cannot connect, consider turning off the Windows Firewall for the domain network

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Resources

Access our resources page to get everything you need to learn what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2017; including tech tips, demonstrations, and upcoming product webinars.

WHAT’S NEW RESOURCES

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Resources

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.