Return-on-investment (ROI) is a very important term to businesses. For any dollar spent, they want it proven–and then demonstrated–that there will be more than a dollar returned for that expenditure. Especially in an economic climate like that of today, an investment with an even or a minus return is extremely unpopular. An example might be a piece of equipment costing tens of thousands of dollars that seems to be requiring a thousand dollars a month to maintain, another five thousand to man and operate and that appears to be adding little to nothing of value to the final product. Another (sometimes less obvious) example is the Vice President that generates reams of inter-office memos, ties up otherwise-productive employees in lengthy meetings and contributes less than nothing to the forward motion of the company’s goals.
Another very common–but often unobserved–item with no or minus ROI is the traditional method of defragmentation known as scheduled defragmentation. On the surface it may sound fine: defragmentation can be scheduled to occur during off hours so that computer files can be maintained in a fragmentation-free state and computer access and performance can be maximized. But when you start examining the actual ROI of scheduled defragmentation, the proposition starts to unravel.
First, when exactly can defragmentation be scheduled so it won’t interfere with users or other production? Many of today’s servers operate 24X7 and cannot be interrupted or taken down for defragmentation. Second, what vital tasks are not being completed while valuable IT hours are being invested in analyzing and scheduling defragmentation?
While both the above are important points and negatively affect ROI, it’s the third point that’s the real kicker: is the defragmenter actually and fully defragmenting drives? If you apply a simple bit of scrutiny, you will find the answer to be a resounding “no!” In between the scheduled runs, fragmentation is continuing to build and impact performance, and in some cases the defragmenter isn’t addressing fragmentation at all. The basic ROI of a defragmenter is the fact that it eliminates fragmentation and increases performance all across an enterprise; if it isn’t doing that, there is no ROI and it belongs on the scrap heap with that useless machine or being ushered out the back door with that superfluous Vice President.
The only method of defragmentation that truly addresses today’s fragmentation is fully automatic. This solution operates invisibly, in the background, utilizing otherwise-idle resources so that fragmentation is consistently eliminated. No scheduling is ever required. With such a solution comes the real ROI expected of defragmentation: for a relatively small investment, computer performance and reliability are actually maximized along with employee productivity. There are few investments that can be made with that kind of solid, dependable return.