Anyone using SketchUp Pro off the Cloud? Experiencing Lag and Frustration?

Last year our architecture firm transitioned from desktop computing to cloud base computing. We have been encourage to do everything on the cloud, Revit, AutoCad, SketchUp, Rhino, etc. Since the transition, I have found SketchUp Pro is basically unusable on the the cloud. There is serious lag time between click and action, orbiting is clunky, and the screen is often pixelated as you orbit. Forget working on any complex model. Overall its just a poor user experience, it feels like driving a car with a parking boot on.

My work around is to download all my SU files to my old desktop computer, which is lightening fast. Work on them there, then upload them at the end of the day. Its not great, especially for collaboration. And its near impossible to convince new users that SketchUp is a great tool when the cloud experience is so frustrating.

Asking the community if you are experiencing similar cloud issues, have any lessons learned, or have just thrown your hands up in frustration and found your own workaround.

Do you mean the way it is licensed or the way you actually use the program?
I do not knew Revit had a web-based modeller, or Rhino.
They do have a viewer, though.

I’m no expert on the topic, but have looked into it a bit since our firm were thinking along the same lines (its probably inevitable in future…some firms are more eager than others).

Are you logging into via portal that connects you with a different PC that’s running SketchUp?
If so, you’re at the mercy of your network speed - any ‘realtime’ software such as SketchUp needs about 5ms or better latency to feel smooth.

From your perspective, let’s say you’re wanting to click your mouse to apply a material to a face:
Your mouse takes 1 or 2ms to send that signal to your computer.
Your computer then takes 5 or 10ms to transmit it through the network
The PC on the other end takes a little time to process that command (say 5ms)
Then it sends the image back to you over the network; another 5-10ms delay.
And your monitor needs to display the result; yet another 5-10ms.

All up, that signal path for a simple mouse click is something like 40ms, which is enough to make everything feel like you’re moving in slow motion. Add network traffic, dropouts, and slowdowns on the host PC (if it’s a server or cluster then it may be playing host to lots of other users competing for resources) and …you know what happens.

Any wifi signal will likely have poorer latency than wired, and also suffer intermittend dropouts whch you will percieve as sluggishness or missed keystrokes.

There are some recent streaming technologies designed for this purpose (eg Nvidia Shield?) which reduce the latency to a level which is OK for working. I began to look into some but our previous I.T. guy left so we never completed the project- It looked promising, but needs an expert to set it up (and wouldn’t be cheap). They key is that it’s up & downsteam latency (most software focuses on downstream).

An alternative is to do what you’re doing and install everything locally and then set up a robust method for syncing files back to the network location. (SU + LO wont work very well across the network, you need to download both files locally). Trimble Connect may help you with referncing/syncing and managing who checks in/checks out files. Personally and in my tema, we just use a lot of version numbers (so a model will get into many versions, eg v1, v2, v3…v55, v56, etc). It seems a bit silly until you try it.

If your company force to you carry small netbooks etc, then you’re a bit stuffed unless you can get one with a decent i7 CPU and utilise an external GPU when you need it.

Hi Mike, Its the program. I have no issue with the licensing.

Thank you AK_SAM. Your description is right on. I’ve been using SketchUp for almost 15 years. After so much time with the program I know how its “supposed” to feel. And when we switched to the cloud (logging into a virtual portal) I immediately felt the slow down and lag time. I gave it a good 2 months of gritting it out before I had to switch back to the old reliable way.

I will look into the Nvidia Shield. About a month in after I alerted our technology group, IT did switch me from the office’s cloud platform to a VMware Horizon Client platform, but I have not noticed a difference. Maybe it is our network speed then if both the office’s Cloud and VMware are both the same SU experience?

I do worry about the future of SketchUp on the cloud, since everything seems to be flowing that way. Hopefully there is some progress or recommendations on minimum requirements for upload/download speeds based on real world user experiences. Thank you for your reply,

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AH, Vm’s are not supported (and against the EULA, for that matter)

2.5 (g)

But it is 2020…

I tested SketchUp on a virtual machine that used Citrix with a Nvidia Grid graphics system. Worked quite well, even when using a 3G phone for my Internet connection. The server end was very powerful and each VM had a share of the graphics power that amounted to something like a Nvidia Quadro P2000 graphics card.
Is your other software running well, especially Rhino? Autodesk bloatware doesn’t use OpenGL but SketchUp and Rhino do. so it might be a question of the quality of OpenGL support in VMWare.

Desktop vesions still rule imho …but the hyped ‘Cloud’ is buzzing more sexy.

It seems the term “cloud” means different things to different people. I think what @mpardek is really talking about here is remote desktop or virtualization?

As @MikeWayzovski points out, virtualization is not permitted in our EULA, but the bigger issue for me is that, as observed, performance in any but the most ideal circumstances, is pretty poor. Virtualization was designed to help large corporations manage usage of typical office software, not high performance visual computing.

SketchUp works best when running natively on a powerful desktop computer. That is where we test, that is what we officially support.