Accelerate your ClearCase® performanceJune 5, 2012 — David Rosen
A lot of things have been said and stated about ClearCase’s advantages and disadvantages as a SCM tool over the past years so I won’t go into too much broad detail on that topic in this post. We’ve worked with enterprise software R&D organizations across the world where one of the biggest pains for the IT, DevOps and tools engineering groups is the slow performance and inefficiencies they get out of the infrastructure that’s running, managing and supporting their existing ClearCase environment. For many of these companies, it’s clear to me that this problem is a very costly and huge impediment to successfully adopt modern Agile development methodologies. And if at all possible (many organizations claim it is not given the way they work), migrating away from ClearCase to some alternate SCM system does definitely not happen overnight.
As an interim or permanent relief to this problem, many of these companies have turned to us at Electric Cloud to provide the ElectricAccelerator build acceleration technology as the mean to enable the much sought after agility across the development organization. Why is that? Software builds are one of the most performance-draining tasks in enterprise ClearCase environments – caused by the verbose, repetitive, multi-hop file system accesses in ClearCase dynamic views. Given hundreds if not thousands of concurrent builds at any given time, this significantly slows down ClearCase file system access times for everyone and overloads the network infrastructure. And ElectricAccelerator is uniquely positioned to solve this problem.
Using sophisticated yet lightweight file caching mechanisms in its patented distributed file system, ElectricAccelerator will massively reduce the number of chatty ClearCase operations that needs to be run for any given build – and as such improve performance across the entire enterprise ClearCase environment.
If you click on the above table for full resolution, it will show you a list of low-level file system access data-points extracted from a single fairly long build before and after using ElectricAccelerator, generated from a real-world enterprise ClearCase environment. Overall for this particular build, ElectricAccelerator reduced the file system overhead from 25% to 8% while accelerating the full runtime by roughly 7x!
If you accumulate and multiply these measured numbers and the delta column with a significant number of continuous concurrent builds, it should be easy to conclude and understand the derived value and ROI in deploying ElectricAccelerator in this kind of environment. In essence, for any large-scale software development organization still dependent on ClearCase for their SCM needs, ElectricAccelerator can easily help save up to millions of dollars per year in improved developer productivity and reduced need for infrastructure maintenance and upgrades!