If you’re a developer in a shop that uses Rational ClearCase and Unified Change Management (CC UCM), you understand why our source code management solution is needed to manage your build dependencies and complex components. As your environment grows with thousands of dependencies, performance in your environment is critical. This is one of the many reasons why customers engage the IBM Rational Accelerated Value Team.
In these complex customer environments, speedy execution can fall victim to many things, including the size and complexity of the global software development project teams, network infrastructure, enterprise storage, and not following best practices.
A semiconductor and telecommunications company employs thousands of software developers in more than 150 offices spread across dozens of countries and myriad time zones. Their CC UCM environment is one of the largest in the world and as a result, maintaining acceptable levels of performance was a challenge. It wasn’t until their AVP team members met with the Semiconductor Company’s chip design and engineering leads that they began to measure exactly how their erratic UCM performance was negatively impacting many of the Semiconductor Company’s users.
CC UCM processes like rebase, make baseline, and make stream are critical tasks that are done one or more times daily by every member of the software development team. The use of these ClearCase commands help streamline the delivery and tracks the dependencies of components and prior deliveries. Operations like rebase were taking some teams 20+ minutes to execute, and in a typical week, the developers in one of this client’s large project team rebased 994 times consuming 331 man hours. Adding to their frustrations, mkbl (make baseline) and mkstream (make stream) had similar performance challenges but had larger impact to the development team in terms of lost productivity.
With performance data in hand, the AVP team collaborated with key ClearCase development resources to pinpoint the root cause and develop a solution. A promising performance enhancement showed a 35% cycle improvement in the IBM lab’s test environment. With good initial results in hand an enterprise quality solution was delivered to the Semiconductor Company within a couple of months. When tested in the client’s environment with their high speed storage and network environment, the performance enhancement delivered a whopping 90% reduction in cycle time – from 20+ minutes down to 2 minutes!
In a typical week, a single Semiconductor Company development team executes the following activities:
Assuming this team’s activity is just 10% of the total UCM operations executed each week by the company’s global development team, the enhanced productivity is worth some $20M.
Annual AVP contract cost: $208,000
Tangible ROI: Incalculable!
Important note: AVP clients benefit from being the first recipients of software improvements driven by these extended IBM team collaborations, but those with wide applicability are then made GA (generally available). The performance enhancement that resulted from this effort is now available to all ClearCase UCM customers. While the Semiconductor Company’s particular development process resulted in the spectacular 90% productivity gains other customers average 35% – which is significant! In today’s brutally competitive marketplace a software enhancement that results in productivity increases is immensely valuable. What can AVP do to help increase your productivity?