SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

November 23, 2009 07:17 ET

Fragmentation Prevention and Energy Savings

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - November 23, 2009) - For many years, conservation of energy has been a serious issue. It traces back to our natural resources such as coal and water and the amount of carbon being released in to the atmosphere, but it also has a more practical aspect of the skyrocketing cost of electricity for a company. Once tangential to corporate operations, computing has now become the platform onto which such operations have moved; hence, along with energy costs, the amount of computer resources has also grown drastically over time. Therefore it's in every company's best interests to conserve the energy of computing wherever possible.

Back in 1992, Silicon Valley took notice of the need for energy conservation, and evolved the "Energy Star" rating for energy-efficient computers. Since that time many other technologies have been evolved, probably the most notable being virtual machines, with which numerous servers can be run from one physical host platform.

File fragmentation, a natural fact of life on all computers, is itself an energy waste. Considerable power is expended when a hard drive has to retrieve a file in hundreds or thousands of fragments, and other components such as CPU and memory also suffer.

Scheduled defragmentation, for many years used to address the issue, is no longer adequate. In between scheduled runs fragmentation continues to build, impacting performance and wasting energy. And because many servers must now operate 24X7, maintenance times for defrag have become more difficult to come by, and in some cases those scheduled runs aren't happening at all.

The latest achievement in defrag, fully automatic defragmentation, is still the most energy efficient of defrag methods. Once installed and configured, it simply runs from there on out, maintaining maximum performance and reliability.

But all of these methods share one factor in common: they all address fragmentation after the fact of having occurred. The problem with that is, by the time that files have been written in a fragmented fashion, considerable I/O resources have already been used. The next logical evolution, then, would be to prevent fragmentation before it happens, in such a manner that no toll is taken on resources for its accomplishment.

The technology for fragmentation prevention has now arrived and is available. Such technology allows for the saving of system resources in reading files, as well as those saved in writing files in the beginning. But more pertinently, significant savings are achieved in energy consumption and cooling -- even more than is done with defrag.

As enterprises look toward further methods of saving energy, they can and should now add fragmentation prevention to the list.

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