More Speed with ElectricAccelerator – Part 1

Are your ElectricAccelerator builds fast enough?

You’ve been happily using ElectricAccelerator to shorten your build and CI cycle times for quite a while now.  Your users merrily throw more and more builds at it and the business is pleased to see more and faster releases.  Yet, for some reason, builds are starting to take longer or build times are beginning to vary to the point where your users have noticed and are starting to complain.

Is something wrong with ElectricAccelerator?

Probably not.

In this first of three blogs we will look at ways to ensure you’re getting the most out of ElectricAccelerator using built-in tools and an exciting new use case that will shorten your Continuous Integration cycle even more.

This week, we’ll look at how to use the Sea Level report in the Cluster Manager to determine if you have enough agents to cover your workloads or if your user builds are waiting for agents to become available.

Sea Level Report

The Sea Level report has been in ElectricAccelerator since version 5.4 and can help you determine if you have enough agents. Two symptoms of not having enough agents are mentioned above: build times slowing overall or beginning to vary noticeably. As with medicine, a symptom does not always confirm a diagnosis and further testing is required.

That’s where the Sea Level report comes in. We’ll look at two reports generated with actual customer data to illustrate how best to use this tool.

Example 1:

This report shows average agent demand throughout the day for a 30-day period.  Demand for agents does exceed the license count 21% of the time but demand peaks usually only happen in the evening when automated builds are running.  Because this customer’s builds were very fast (5-10 minutes), the impact of the agent shortage was minimal.

For this customer:

  • Daytime build times were acceptable.
  • Evening variations didn’t impact operations.
  • More agents wouldn’t accelerate the builds appreciably.

Therefore, they decided that they didn’t need more agents.

Example 2:

This report shows a far different picture.  Over a two-month period, demand exceeded agent count 25% of the time overall. However, and more importantly, that demand commonly occurred during working hours, slowing development and impacting user satisfaction.

For this customer:

  • Daytime build times were not acceptable, having grown to more than 30 minutes
  • During working hours, demand typically exceeded licenses by 50% or more, causing delays as build had to wait for agents to become available.

This customer chose to add 24 more agents immediately and opted for an additional 24 agents in six months, due to growth in demand.

Your Sea Level Report

What does your report show?

(NOTE: Even if you are happy with your build times, it’s a good to run this report every now and then to keep ahead of the game.)

To generate your own Sea Level report:

  • Go to the Reports tab and choose ‘Sea Level’ from the report drop down list
  • Select an appropriate date range (more than a month will give you better data)
  • Enter in the baseline number of agents you have licensed
  • Click Run Report

Do you have enough agents? Do you need more? Is something else happening?

Register here for a demo and your Customer Success Manager and we’ll be happy to help you answer those questions.

Tim Johnson

Tim is product marketing manager at Electric Cloud and focuses on the impact DevOps has on the people and the organizations adopting it.He has over 15 years product marketing experience with industry leaders like BMC Software, Cisco, Google, and SurfControl.He holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine and is a Scoutmaster and wood turner in his "spare" time.
Tim Johnson

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