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Perforce Takes Federated Versioning to the Edge


Aiming to reduce workflow latency, Perforce has announced a new federated architecture for the company's version management engine, P4D.

The theory here states: remote services (or "Edge" services) allow development teams to deploy full-scale versioning services closer to distributed teams to provide LAN-speed access to their source code, art files, documents, and other assets they version. Edge services are fully functional versioning engines that can process routine versioning commands without interacting with a master — Edge services can offload routine operations from the master versioning service.

To keep global development synchronized, code submits are still committed to the master, but all other commands are entirely local. By storing metadata and content in a local environment, the new technology reduces data transfer and bandwidth usage between remote sites or between remote sites and a master, significantly speeding up developer workflows.

The new federation capabilities in P4D also enable replication of Git masters across a WAN — multisite Git teams operating behind a firewall can avoid the bottleneck of a central master.

Remote teams do not have to manage data that they do not require. This reduces WAN usage across the organization, shrinks hardware requirements for remote sites, and improves overall operational efficiency. Content filtering also enables an organization to limit visibility into critical chunks of code when security is a concern.

Continuous build, test, and integration transactions can be spread across multiple Edge services, while the master can be focused on serving user commits. This division of workload enables large organizations to scale development infrastructure with ease, while running the system on inexpensive hardware to further reduce costs.

"A multi-tiered architecture helps remove most versioning processes from the latency risks inherent in global networks, leading to quick and efficient workflows regardless of location," said Murtaza Amiji, director of product management at Perforce.

The firm has also announced the addition of a new version management capability — Parallel Sync — which allows users to transfer multiple files simultaneously and reduce overall workspace sync times./p>

P4 sync is the primary command for transferring updated files between a versioning depot and the development workspace. The new Parallel Sync capability enables the system to transfer multiple files simultaneously via the P4 sync command. This results in faster workspace creation for developers as well as automation tools, allowing teams to complete tasks faster.

"Parallel Sync is especially beneficial for teams practicing Continuous Delivery in highly automated environments, where Continuous Integration processes must obtain the latest code changes ahead of every test. Faster transfer of changes at each step of the Continuous Delivery pipeline speeds up the entire build-to-deploy process without any new investments," said Perforce.


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