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Tying Up Your IT Resources?

Many CIOs have come up through the corporate technical side, hence are heavier on the technical and lighter on the business. This must now change, as a CIO must fully understand company direction in order to understand where computer resources must be allocated.

In order to concentrate on those business objectives, however, a CIO and his or her resources need not be tied down into routine maintenance issues. Given that a primary CIO concern today is simply finding enough qualified personnel to take care of those issues, it is evident that such tasks are taking more time than they should. One such maintenance chore should not even be absorbing IT attention: tackling the fragmentation disease.

File fragmentation has been a problem for computer system personnel practically since the origin of magnetic storage media. The splitting of files into pieces (fragments) is done to better utilize disk storage space, which solves one problem yet creates another: accessing those fragmented files, which can exist in tens, hundreds or even thousands of pieces, shows down performance dramatically.

The solution for several years has been scheduled defragmentation–meaning, a defragmentation utility is scheduled to run on disks at times when access is lower. But there is a hidden cost in scheduled defragmentation: IT personnel must analyze fragmentation on the system, then schedule defragmentation in an effort to combat it. The IT staff time taken for this could be far better spent in helping forward critical business goals.

Additionally, due to new technologies such as RAID and virtualization, combined with the frantic pace of today’s business and the constant demand for access, scheduled defragmentation is no longer keeping up with fragmentation rates. Fragmentation accumulates in between runs, impacting performance, and much of the time fragmentation builds up so fast that the limited scheduled runs are not reaching all of it. The result: fragmentation is still occurring, slowing down performance and affecting production and the bottom line.

The solution would seem to be a defragmenter that requires no scheduling, hence no IT time, and that runs constantly and invisibly in the background, attacking the fragmentation disease as it occurs. Fortunately, such defragmenters are finally starting to arrive on the market.

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