SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

November 10, 2009 17:47 ET

Defrag: Closing the Barn Door After the Horses Are Out?

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - An age old American saying talks about, "closing the barn door after the horses are out." It basically means taking action to handle a situation after the main prevention for that situation has not been taken. Somebody left the barn door wide open, the horses got away, and then that person had the presence of mind to close the door -- rather belatedly -- so the horses wouldn't escape.

Such an operating basis is all too common in today's society. A person will learn the importance of backups only after a couple years worth of work has been lost due to a malfunctioning hard drive. Another will buy and put to work anti-virus software on his computer only after his system has been brought down by a virus.

One would think such action would not be the case when it comes to such a basic problem as file fragmentation. This malady has been plaguing us practically since the beginning of computers -- invented as a solution for more efficient utilization of hard drive space. Yet every single solution for fragmentation since they were first brought on the market has been a defragmenter -- something that took care of the situation after the fact of its occurrence.

Despite the fact they were addressing the issue after the fact, many were still quite effective and handled fragmentation to the degree that its impact was hardly felt. There still remained, however, the fact that fragmentation was occurring. The problem is that by the time fragmentation happens, the system has already wasted I/O resources by writing fragmented files to scattered spaces on the disk.

A high-tech version of closing the barn door BEFORE that horse gets out would be to prevent fragmentation to begin with. For this to occur, a method would need to be developed so that files could be written contiguously (as close to being in one piece as possible) right at the outset, while taking no toll on system resources to accomplish it.

With a majority of fragmentation prevented, system resources would be saved in reading files, as well as those saved in writing files in the beginning. Significant savings would also be achieved in energy consumption and cooling -- even more than is done with defrag.

For many years, we've been closing the barn door after the horse was out. With all the technology now available to us, it is perhaps time to develop a preventative solution to fragmentation.

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