It’s an interesting fact that no matter how complicated technology gets, there are still certain basic elements needed for its operation. We find great examples in automobiles: they have advanced from little more than engines fixed onto former horse-drawn buggies to the carefully engineered computerized sleek vehicles that fly down today’s highways, yet they always have–and always will need–fuel in order to run.
Computers have run a similar gamut, from clumsy room-sized mazes of vacuum tubes operated only by top scientists to the slick machinery of today, able to be utilized by anyone. Yet from the earliest advent of hard drives, they have always required defragmentation.
Storage technology has certainly made its advances. SAN was developed as a brilliant way to move an enormous amount of traffic away from servers. Utilizing SAN, stored data does not reside directly on any of those servers and server power is now used strictly for business applications and network capacity is freed up for other purposes.
But a SAN still consists of disk drives, and fragmentation is still very much a performance-crippling problem. In fact, because there are additional steps to requesting and accessing files from a SAN, fragmentation can even have more of an impact from the SAN than from a local or server drive.
Another technological leap has been RAID–but fragmentation very much affects RAID as well. The file system “sees” the data in a RAID set as one virtual volume and performs its reads and writes accordingly. If data on the physical disks is fragmented, it will also appear as fragmented in the virtual volume and will take longer to retrieve. Additionally, RAID necessitates several extra steps when reading or writing a file, so a RAID system must work that much harder when fragmentation exists. The result is that the RAID’s performance benefit is negated to the degree that files are fragmented.
Fragmentation on RAID, SAN and other complex systems requires a robust solution. Diskeeper with InvisiTasking provides totally automatic defragmentation for these systems.
“We had 30 percent of our servers that were upwards of 80 to 90 percent fragmented,” said Justin Sharp, Computer Network Specialist with San Bernardino Unified School District in San Bernardino, California. “All our servers are RAID servers and we have a couple that are SAN attached and some that are SQL servers. On average, Diskeeper has improved performance 25 to 30 percent.”
Once set up, Diskeeper works invisibly from there on out, providing maximum performance, requiring no scheduling and having no negative impact on users due to defragmentation. “Once I set up Diskeeper, it just works with almost no maintenance, only running reports every so often.” added Sharp. “That’s the other thing I like about it.”
As automobiles will always require fuel, computers will always require defragmentation. And the only solution for today’s high-traffic systems with their high volumes of fragmentation is Diskeeper.