BlackICE Defender

My project recently moved to a new building. This happened because a new company won the bid for the maintenance contract. The change did not impact me much. I merely switched companies. A number of other long time developers on the project did the same. However we all suffer from a new problem on the project. Clearcase access has become very slow. Part of this slowness is due to the fact that we now need to make many network hops to get to the Clearcase server. The slowness is very painful.

One day the delay was so severe that a developer asked the Configuration Management team to intervene. Our CM team has some connections with the team that runs the Clearcase server. The answer turned out that the network was not our main problem. It was the BlackICE Defender service running in the background. When this service was disabled, Clearcase performance improved drastically. Our CM guy stated that IBM has dropped support for Clearcase to coexist with BlackICE.

From what I recall, BlackICE was an application for virus protection. I did a little more research and was surprised by what I found. Apparently BlackICE is now a product distributed by IBM. And they were in fact withdrawing support for the project. However this did not seem to imply that it would not longer coexist with Clearcase. Instead it seemed like IBM was dropping it from its product line. This was very confusing and even suspicious.

For now I am living with the Clearcase performance problems. BlackICE Defender is installed on my workstation for a reason. It is not up to a developer to be disabling system components they know nothing about. This problem should be addressed at an enterprise level. Our CM Team was disappointed that the Clearcase server team did not escalate this issue to an enterprise wide level. There must be more to this story than meets the eye.

Luckily our management team is working on some alternate solutions to the network performance problems. I am hoping that this shall also solve my issues with Clearcase.