Blog

Setup a Demo Environment for Enterprise PDM

I was beta testing Windows Vista in mid 2006 when SolidWorks shipped SolidWorks 2007 which had Vista support in Pre-release 2 but was pulled when SP0 shipped. Beta testing for SolidWorks 2008 came in July and both SolidWorks and Enterprise PDM had full Vista support, however at the time all the server components (Archive, Database and SQL) of EPDM were not yet supported to run in Windows Vista.  Since I demonstrate this product and cannot come to terms with running an operating system that is not current, I needed to find a way to make this possible.

Without getting into all the solutions to achieve this, the obvious choice was to setup a virtual machine of my "server" and install all the EPDM components there and simply use the client in Windows Vista.  I downloaded both Microsoft's free Virtual PC and VMWare's Server Edition and setup a Windows 2003 Server and was able to connect to it without any issue.  The default setup for the network adapter was to just share the network from the host, using DHCP to acquire an address.  This was fine when I was connected but ran into some issues when I was onsite and my system was offline.  I could have set my adapter to use a static address but this was a pain since I would need to switch it back when I wanted to get online.  Therefore, I needed another solution...

Demo Environment:

IP setup on virtual machine

1 - On the host machine, go to the Device Manager and right click on the system at the top of the navigation tree (typically the name of your system) and select "Add legacy hardware" and hit Next. Pick the option "Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced)" and hit Next.
Under "Common hardware types:" select Network adapters, hit next andAdding loopback adapter on Host select "Microsoft" under Manufacturer and "Microsoft Loopback Adapter" under Network Adapter.  Follow the prompts to install the driver.
Now the Loopback Adapter should be displayed in the list of network adapters under Network Connections.
2 - Assign a static address to the newly installed Loopback adapter by going into "Properties" under IPV4 settings and add an IP, Subnet mask and gateway using an internal addresses like 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x.  I set the host ip to x.x.x.2 and it's gateway to x.x.x.1.
IP setup on Host machine3 - Once you have your Virtual Machine setup, go into the network adapter (in the VM) and set a static ip and a gateway similar to the host but use a differnt ip and same gateway.  I set the VM ip to x.x.x.3 and it's gateway to match that of the host (x.x.x.1).
4 - The last step is to set the virtual machine's settings to use the Host's loopback adapter as the network connection.
This configuration is one I have used for the past 5 years and is a great wayVirtual machine environment network settings. to estabilsh a closed network between my host and server, keeping all the server components off my workstation. Althouth today these components will run on Vista or Windows 7 without issue, I still opt to use this setup to keep the server components off my workstation.  It also makes it very easy to make a copy of the server and use it for testing of beta builds without messing with the installation.  Moving to another system is easy as well since relocating the vm file to another system, installing your VM software and restarting is all it takes.
There are a number of paid and free solutions on the market to virtualize an operating system.  Sun VirtualBox works well and Microsoft's VirtualPC is nicely integrated with Windows 7 but in the end, for me, VMWare Server seems to have the most customization and advancements in utilizing what the host machine has to offer. ~Lou