February 9, 2016

The DVCS Myth

Git at Scale
Version Control


The recent GitHub outage affected a large number of people despite being relatively short. It highlights something the industry is just now coming to realize: the distributed nature of DVCS is a myth.

To be clear, DVCS systems empower individual developers to do a lot more locally, at the speed of their own file systems, than ever before. But except in the rare case of lone cowboys, what are such individual developers to do when they need to pull others’ work or push their own when the server is down?

The GitHub outage was brief but nevertheless widely regarded as the developer equivalent of a “snow day”. Having grown up in the Midwest myself, that’s a term near and dear to my heart, one that evokes happy memories of sledding my way through a glorious holiday from school. Perhaps that’s fine for hobbies and open source projects, but typical businesses can’t afford many snow days.

Getting beyond the DVCS myth, the truth is that developers using distributed systems need centralized features just as badly as they always have. A recent Gartner study makes exactly that point.

That’s precisely why Perforce has been pursuing a hybrid approach for years, culminating in the development of our new Helix platform. Perforce Helix provides the industry’s most flexible and powerful DVCS, as well as full support for native Git and its whole ecosystem, married to centralized features built with the enterprise in mind.

The Helix Versioning Engine offers clustering with a high availability option to make sure your developers don’t have to take a snow day. It’s even free for small teams and evaluation purposes, so give it a try and introduce your developers to the first DVCS you can’t outgrow. 

That’s the DVCS myth: busted.