Perforce Server Requirement

Administering Perforce: Superuser Tasks // Perforce Server

The Helix Server is pretty thrifty on CPU resources. Available memory and disk performance are more likely to be possible bottlenecks.

The Helix Server employs a forking process model on Unix variants or a threading process model on Windows. Each Helix client command is executed in its own process or thread. This process model will take advantage of a system with multiple CPU cores. When considering CPU clock speed, faster clock speeds reduce locking time on critical system resources during complex operations.

Memory

Server performance is highly dependent upon having sufficient memory. We suggest the following formula to approximate your server's memory requirements. This calculation is a conservative estimate and does not account for all possible usage patterns. It may not satisfy performance expectations in all cases.

NUMBER OF FILES
1.5 KB
ESTIMATED MEMORY REQUIREMENTS

Two bottlenecks are relevant in memory utilization. The first bottleneck can be avoided by ensuring that the server does not page when it runs large queries and the second by ensuring that the db.rev table (or at least as much of it as practical) can be cached in main memory:

  • Determining memory requirements for large queries is fairly straightforward: the server requires about 1 kilobyte of RAM per file to avoid paging; 10, 000 files will require 10 MB of RAM and so on.
  • To cache db.rev, the size of the db.rev file in an existing installation can be observed and used as an estimate. New installations of Helix can expect db.rev to require about 150-200 bytes per revision, and roughly three revisions per file, or about 0.5 kilobytes of RAM per file.

Thus, if there are 1.5 kilobytes of RAM available per file, or 150 MB for 100, 000 files, the server does not page, even when performing operations involving all files. It is still possible that multiple large operations can be performed simultaneously and thus require more memory to avoid paging. On the other hand, the vast majority of operations involve only a small subset of files.

For most installations, a system with 1.5 kilobytes of RAM per file in the depot suffices.

Please Note: For the purposes of the above equations, lazy copies factor in. If a file has been branched twice, you have two lazy copies and one "real" copy. You'd count "3" as the number of files in this case.

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