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Hard Drives

Does Scheduled Defragmentation Extend the Life of Your Hard Drive?

Defragmentation has certainly solved a lot of problems. Many years ago file fragmentation–the splitting of files into multiple pieces so as to make more of disk space–was found to be the cause of many issues, not the least among them slow performance and even, when severe, system freezes and crashes. Not only did defragmenting eliminate these problems but, as time went on, it was noticed that defragmenting extended the lives of hard drives because when files were defragmented there was greatly reduced disk head movement.

Today, however, new problems have arisen with regard to scheduled defragmentation and hard drives once again have to work harder.

When scheduled defragmentation was first invented all those years ago, it was certainly a blessing. System administrators and IT personnel no longer had to run defragmenters manually in off-hours (meaning nights and weekends). The defragmenter could be scheduled to run during these times so users wouldn’t be impacted, and in the morning hard drives would be all neatly defragmented.

But times have changed. First, with the advent of the World Wide Web and a globalized economy, nights and weekends are, in many cases, no longer an option. While it may be the middle of the night in New York, a company division in Hong Kong may very well be accessing that New York server. Companies running second and third shifts require constant access, and any Web server accessible by the public also needs to be available 24X7. Such conditions mean that any time a scheduled defragmenter runs, it is going to negatively impact performance for somebody while it does its job.

Second, due to greatly enlarged file sizes and hard drive capacities, along with escalating fragmentation rates, scheduled defragmentation is no longer keeping up. The scheduled runs are in many cases not completely defragmenting drives, and in between the scheduled runs fragmentation is continuing to build. Performance is impacted and head movement on hard drives is once again increased.

The only solution to today’s fragmentation issues is a completely automatic solution, one which runs any time idle system resources are available. System users are not impacted by such a solution, and it is the only defragmentation technology that truly keeps on top of fragmentation. Performance and system reliability are consistently maximized.

And, once again, the lives of hard drives everywhere are extended.

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