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Ever Increasing Demands on Data Storage and Backup Alleviated by Reducing Disk Fragmentation

Aside from accuracy, speed of backing up data has become a critical issue in today’s hi-tech environment. With the expansion of organizational storage allocation requirements, the time required for file-based data backup also continues to escalate. Though backup software vendors continue making advancements in technology to speed up the process, disk fragmentation will continue to remain an unresolved issue that must be addressed on the file system level to solve this bottleneck. In other words, a defrag of the disk is essential to increase backup speed.

In business environments, backing up local and network data is commonly done with both tape and disk devices. As data backup involves file access, fragmentation of data files can have a profound impact on the length of time a backup procedure may take. Fragmentation means that the data on the disk is not contiguous. Instead, it is scattered around the disk in bits and pieces. And, while the data can still be accessed, it is obvious that it is going to require additional seek time when the data from a particular file is not all in one location on the disk.

Testing has found that the time required to back up data from a typical hard drive volume to backup devices can be decreased and the backup data transfer rate increased by a defrag job prior to backup. Furthermore, directory consolidation has a direct additional benefit in backup and data transfer rates. The study showed improvements in backup times up to 69% (decrease in total back up time)–less than one half of the time for the fragmented system. Similarly, backup data transfer rates increased up to 69% over that for the fragmented state–nearly 1.7 times as fast.

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