Seagate Chooses Helix Core to Streamline Global Collaboration for Embedded Firmware

DevOps means many things to its practitioners. But for enterprise teams, global collaboration might be the most important milestone.

For Seagate, the leading manufacturer of solid state and spinning media drives, collaboration across multiple facilities and time zones is essential. Seagate builds custom hardware and software technology products. And their design and manufacturing facilities span the globe.

The team conducts 15 million daily transactions against their Helix Core (P4D) version control server and runs 1,500 builds and deployments an hour.

"Perforce has been key to us achieving DevOps."



About Seagate

  • Company Name: Seagate Technology
  • Type of Company: Data Storage
  • Perforce Customer Since 2008
  • Helix Core Users:  2,500
  • Helix Core Administrators: 8
  • Number of Files: 800GB
  • Annual Builds: 6 Million

Multi-Site Development

Before using Helix Core, Seagate’s design centers across Asia and the U.S. collaborated mostly by email, resulting in unwanted lag time. After a rigorous evaluation process that involved field-testing numerous version control solutions, the Seagate development team made the decision to adopt Helix Core.

“Helix Core has helped us unite our design centers by giving us a platform for true multi-site development,” explained Christiansen.

Seagate has 1,000 direct users that pull and commit code. And 1,500 indirect users who consume the code and artifacts. They pull and flash different configurations onto hard drives. Then, they work with Seagate’s customers to provide embedded firmware for their devices.

Integrations Support Custom Development & CI

Seagate operates in a complex development environment. Customer requirements define the embedded firmware test and release cycles. “Drives have to spin constantly or run in a continuous state for weeks at a time before we’ll consider the test valid,” said Christiansen.

Seagate has custom-built many of their development tools. This allows the development process to be hyper-tailored to each customer’s unique requirements.

The ability for Helix Core to accommodate a highly customized process is critical, said Christiansen. “Perforce is at the very core of what we do.” The process is repeated thousands of times. Christiansen’s team supports 3,200 active configurations of their hardware. Plus, there’s a growing library of archived installations.

Support for Global Scale

With almost 1TB of data stored on the Helix Core server spread across multiple design centers, Seagate has an extensive development infrastructure.

“Perforce enables us to have the performance our customers demand,” said Christiansen.

What About Git?

Christiansen said some developers are pushing him to get Git.

“I’ll install Git on the front-end, but I want a reliable, enterprise-grade tool as the backend.  Let’s be honest, Git doesn’t scale for massive development – especially if you’re moving 1TB."

Plus, the extensive number of custom configurations that we must maintain is problematic within the Git model of multiple repositories.

Versioning Best Practices for Embedded Development

Learn innovative tips for simplifying embedded systems development from industry leaders: ADTRAN, Maxim Integrated, u-blox, and more.