Overview

IMPETUS Afea Solver can be utilized in various different ways. It can be run locally on your desktop/laptop or through the network. We have a built-in client-server interface which lets users submit and post process simulations through the network. Users can also connect to the server with Windows Remote Desktop with fully functional OpenGL support.

For more information about how to setup command files, check our User cookbook. We also have a video tutorial for this section.

User cookbook Video tutorials

Client-server interface

It is important to understand how the client-server interface works. No matter if you are going to run IMPETUS Afea Solver locally or remotely over the network, the client-server interface will be used.

IMPETUS Afea Solver GUI consist of several Modes such as Project, Assemble, Post and Solve. The latter one is used to start simulations. These modes are located on the left panel of the GUI.

GUI modules
Left panel

When clicking on "Solve" for the first time, you will be prompted to start IMPETUS Afea Server. By clicking "Yes", the server will start on that specific machine and you will automatically be connected to it.

Starting IMPETUS Afea Server
Starting IMPETUS Afea Server

One can now submit simulations to this machine, both locally and over the network. Other clients can connect to this machine through the IP-address and submit simulation.

Controls

Most controls described below will be located on the top panel. This is where most of the configuration take place.

The top panel contains controls for starting jobs, managing connections and path mapping
The top panel contains simulation controls. The available controls can vary depending on the state of the selected job

Running locally

Make sure IMPETUS Afea Server is running on your local machine. Instructions on how to install the software can be found here.

Submitting a job

New jobs can be submitted from the "New" button on the left side of the top panel.

  1. To start a new job, click on the "New" button.
  2. Browse for the input file.
  3. Choose desired configuration, such as GPU acceleration and priority.
  4. Start the simulation by clicking the "Start job" button.
  5. The new simulation job will now be listed and run according its queue position.

Running over the network

To run the solver over the network, the input file must be located on the server. This also means that your server drive must be accessible though the client.

Guidelines for organizing files

In a multi-user environment, we have a few recommendations on how to organize command- and result files.

  • We recommend to always use network paths when starting new jobs. Either UNC paths like \\servername\path\project\main.k or mapped network drives like x:\path\project\main.k. That way both the input files and the result files will be accessible from the Solve page in the IMPETUS Afea Solver GUI on any machine on the network.
  • Access restriction to simulation files should be done by setting read/write permissions to the network folder appropriately. That way, all users will see the entire job list on the server so that they know how busy the server is. But they will only be able to view the contents of the input or output files if they have read access to the folder where they are located.
  • The IMPETUS user account that is logged in on the server machine must always have read- and write permissions to all folders that will be used for IMPETUS simulation files.

Network drive mapping

Make sure IMPETUS Afea Server is running on the server machine. Instructions on how to setup and connect to the server can be found here.

Before you can submit a job, you will have to do a path mapping. This is crucial since the path on your network drive might not be the same as the one on the server.

  1. Click on the "Connections" button at the top panel.
  2. Check the "Connect to other computers running IMPETUS Afea Solver Engine" checkbox.
  3. Click on the "+" button.
  4. Type the IP-address of the server.
  5. Click "OK" to confirm. If everything went well, you will now be connected to the server.

pathmapping
Path mapping must be done if the paths to the files are different on the client and the server. Network drives on the client usually have different partition letter than the one on server.

IMPETUS Afea Solver GUI will remember all these steps above so you will only have to do this once.

Submitting a job

New jobs can be submitted from the "New" button on the left side of the top panel.

  1. To start a new job, click on the "New" button.
  2. Browse for the input file.
  3. Choose desired configuration, such as GPU acceleration and priority.
  4. Start the simulation by clicking the "Start job" button.
  5. The new simulation job will now be listed and run according its queue position.

Running IMPETUS Afea Solver GUI remotely

Some users prefer to post-process remotely on the server to avoid the network latency of reading the files over the network and to avoid copying a lot of data to their local machine. Technologies that can be used for this include Remote Desktop (RDP), VNC, Citrix and more. However, when using such technologies, hardware accelerated 3D graphics is generally not available. In that case a software based graphics driver must be used on the server. A software based graphics driver provides the same functionality as the graphics card, but is implemented purely in software. It is therefore slower than using hardware accelerated graphics.

We bundle the Gallium llvmpipe driver with the IMPETUS Afea Solver package. This driver is free to use and is a very fast software implementation. The following steps describe how to activate it.

  1. Log in to the server.
  2. Find the IMPETUS Remote icon on the desktop.
  3. IMPETUS remote icon
  4. Right-click IMPETUS Remote and select "Run as administrator". The following dialog opens.
  5. IMPETUS remote dialog
  6. Select "Use software based OpenGL driver" and then "Start IMPETUS Afea Solver GUI". What now happens is that the Gallium llvmpipe driver, which is located in the file opengl32.dll, is copied into the folder where IMPETUS Afea Solver GUI is installed. If this file is present when the GUI starts, the software based graphics driver is used.

If the GUI will always be accessed remotely on the server, you only need to do this step once. Opengl32.dll will remain in the installation folder even if you update to newer versions of the software.

However, if you sometimes want to work directly on the server, you may wish to run IMPETUS Remotely to deactivate the software driver to get the best graphics performance. To deactivate it, simply run IMPETUS Remote as Administrator again, but this time select "Use default OpenGL driver". What happens then is that the opengl32.dll file is deleted before the GUI is started. That way the default graphics driver is used.