Revit Server is the server application for Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, Revit MEP, and Revit in the Autodesk Building Design Suite. It is the foundation for server-based worksharing for Revit projects. A workshared project is a Revit building model that multiple team members can access and modify at the same time. With server-based worksharing, multiple instances of Revit Server are installed at different sites and configured to perform specific roles to support optimal project collaboration across a wide area network (WAN). Together these instances of Revit Server make up the Revit Server network.
Host: With this role enabled, a Revit Server instance can store central models for a server-based workshared project. A Revit Server Host is conceptually similar to a central server in versions of Revit Server prior to 2013, but Revit Server now supports multiple Hosts storing multiple central models for multiple teams. Typically, each team would have the Host role enabled for a Revit Server instance that is geographically or organizationally central for that team. Revit Server instances with this role enabled are referred to collectively as Revit Servers in the user documentation and in dialogs through which end users manage their connection to the Revit Server network. Access to Hosts is controlled through the on Revit clients and on instances of Revit Server that have either the Accelerator or Admin role enabled (see descriptions below).
Accelerator: This role allows a Revit Server instance to aggregate and cache data from multiple Revit Server instances that have the Host role enabled. Team members in the same local area network (LAN) as the Revit Server Accelerator experience better performance when using it to connect to central models stored on Revit Server Hosts. A Revit Server Accelerator is conceptually similar to a local server in versions of Revit Server prior to 2013. Although connecting to a central model through an Accelerator is the preferred method, team members can connect directly to Revit Server Hosts. In fact, Revit clients are automatically connected to the Hosts when the local Accelerator is unavailable, and automatically reconnected through the Accelerator when it is restored. Thus team members may be unaware of the Accelerator they are using because it is transparent in their daily operations. Typically, you would set up a Revit Server Accelerator at any site where Revit clients need to access a server-based workshared model.
After an instance of Revit Server is installed, its roles can be changed at any time by editing the RSROLE2013 environment variable—a comma delimited list of all enabled roles. For example, an instance of Revit Server with the Host and Admin roles enabled will have RSROLE2013 set to: Host,Admin.