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Our organization currently works with our data over the network, which causes huge slow-downs. We'd like to have everyone working off the data on their local drives to speed things up, and exploring ways to manage this.

I know ArcGIS Server should be able to cache feature and map tiles locally from a WFS/WMS but I am wondering if it will also allow an administrator to flag certain datasets to be cached to local machines so everyone's not always hammering the network each time ArcMap has to redraw the screen.

Is this possible? If so, can an administrator make changes to the master networked data and have that change pushed out to all the local caches?

Basically I'm looking for some kind of source-control-like functionality which will allow people to work on local data, but be synchronized to a central dataset repository. Selling my organization on moving into source control software is likely not going to happen, but they seem open to ArcGIS Server if that will solve the issue.

Any advice on how we can accomplish this?

  • Are your users editing the data or just viewing it? – Mintx Aug 4 '15 at 22:12
  • The only way this could work is if you ran a proxy for the ArcGIS Server host on each client machine, and somehow redirected the tile requests locally. – Vince Aug 4 '15 at 22:50
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It's somewhat confusing, because "ArcGIS Server" is associated with multiple aspects of the Esri ArcGIS "platform" (software stack), but the web services component of ArcGIS Server to which you refer is a "thin client" technology used to centralize data and geoprocessing services, so that the least possible data is transmitted across a network.

The Esri solution closest to source-controlled data is distributed geodatabase replication, using a versioned enterprise geodatabase (ArcSDE) with one of:

  • Checkout/Check-in replication, or
  • One-way replication (parent-to-child or child-to-parent), or
  • Two-way replication

Enterprise geodatabases are licensed as part of ArcGIS Server (at the central server, vice at the client nodes).

There are many potential configurations using the Esri platform, but one of the more common in large organizations uses ArcGIS Server web services to distribute low-volume basemap imagery to Desktop clients, which manage local subsets of high-volume data, synchronized as necessary (based of whether the clients need to edit the local data) with geodatabase replication. None of these solutions involve distributing the basemap tiles from ArcGIS Server to the clients.

Your local Esri marketing rep can probably better explain the platform story, and help you find the pieces which meet your system configuration requirements. They can also recommend free and fee-based training in ArcGIS architecture design (though the Design Strategies class is probably overkill at this point, their wiki site has a lot of links that may prove useful).

Disclaimer: I work for Esri in their Professional Services division, doing, among many other things, system configuration and architecture design, software installs, and on-site training in ArcGIS Server solution management.

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