November 7, 2017

Cadence Design Systems Offers 4 Tips for a Successful Migration From ClearCase


They had two system admins. Both spent half their time supporting the organization’s ClearCase repositories. Upgrades, backups, and file transfers were painfully slow. For everyone. So slow they found themselves scheduling days of down time just to complete any one of the above operations.

But with 20 years of history — a total of 276GB of data — in their ClearCase repositories, Cadence Design Systems didn’t think replacing ClearCase would be difficult.

They thought it would be impossible.

Cindi Hunter, Director of Configuration Management at Cadence, wasn’t easily deterred. She had already led the multinational electronic design automation (EDA) software and engineering services company through one migration since she started in 1995. She knew the organization could simplify administration, boost performance, and increase scale with a new versioning solution… if they could ensure a successful migration.

That’s exactly what they did.

Last week, Cindi Hunter and Tom Tyler, Senior Consultant at Perforce, teamed up to provide ClearCase users with a realistic roadmap for a successful, large-scale migration. Below are highlights and key takeaways from their shared experience moving Cadence Design Systems off of ClearCase and onto Helix Core.


Define a Comprehensive Plan From the Start

Before you overhaul your version control system, it’s important to define requirements for the entire project. This includes migration strategy, hardware deployment, R&D and build flows, training, and the go-live phase. Meticulous planning, which included thinking through potential challenges, turned Cindi’s team into Helix Core experts long before their go-live date. They were able to get engineers operating at full speed within two weeks of launch.


Keep It Simple for Front-End Users

If you don’t want to alienate your software engineers, you need to keep things simple for them as you transition from your old environment to your new one. It’s important to remember that you are not just changing your versioning system behind the scenes. The architectural decisions you make can impact the workflow of your software engineers, either accelerating adoption or causing frustration.

Cadence kept this top of mind during the planning process.

The result?

Engineers didn’t need to adapt to a new workflow. Once they learned a new set of commands, they were ready to use their new tool.


Provide Ample Time for Training

Perhaps most importantly, Cindi recommends providing ample time for training, citing it as a key element to include in your initial requirements document.

Cadence allocated two full weeks for training, offering users a two-part workshop. The first session provided new users with a general overview of their new solution: tools, commands, flows, and processes. The second, a chance to play in the test environment. Sessions were recorded and cheat sheets distributed. Cindi estimates that the training phase not only increased adoption, but also saved everyone resources and frustration over time.


Leverage the Power of Perforce

Today, Helix Core has enabled Cadence Design Systems to simplify their administration requirements. One system administrator spends just a quarter of their time supporting 400 users. Helix Core makes it easy to upgrade, easy to back up, and easy to move files around.

There’s nothing complicated about Cindi’s final advice: “Keep your environment simple, and use the technology and the power that Perforce has to offer. It will provide a robust SCM solution for you and anyone else that decides to use it.”

Missed the live presentation? Watch the on-demand webinar.