SOURCE: Diskeeper Corporation

March 30, 2010 12:01 ET

Preventing Fragmentation for Database Performance

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - March 30, 2010) -  The performance of databases is very key to business productivity. Enterprises generally track most everything through one or more databases: customers, individual sales, accounting, inventory and more. If a database is slowed for any reason, it slows up a vital area of the company. For example, if a sales rep is on the phone with a customer and cannot rapidly obtain that client's information, the sale is slowed down -- as is the production for that day, week and month. And if one sales rep is having that problem, it usually means every other rep is also.

While there can be various causes for databases being slowed, a common problem is file fragmentation.

Unlike normal computer files, databases suffer from two different types of fragmentation: internal and external. Internal fragmentation occurs when records are removed from database pages leaving space behind. As this space is reused, the data pages become fragmented leading to unnecessary I/Os, especially in case of table scans where many data pages are read, one after another. Database applications generally contain tools to address internal fragmentation, such as the DBCC REINDEX command in SQL Server which rebuilds indexes. Once indexes are rebuilt, data pages are now logically contiguous, and disk I/O is minimized.

But such methods do nothing at all for external fragmentation. External fragmentation refers to the fragmentation of files on the server's disks, which can cause as much, if not more, unnecessary I/O activity as internal fragmentation. Unnecessary I/O activity, as one might expect, drastically affects overall database performance.

"I used to have issues with my database systems slowing down due to disk fragmentation," said Michael Wood, Technical Services Director at the US Department of Health and Human Services DTS in Seattle, Washington. "It was one of my biggest performance problems."

The most effective and advanced solution to file fragmentation for databases -- and file fragmentation in general -- is Diskeeper® 2010 performance software. Diskeeper 2010 is the very first solution to fragmentation that actually prevents a majority of fragmentation from occurring in the first place.

"After deploying Diskeeper, I don't see those problems anymore," Wood said. "I have Diskeeper set to run in the background and I never have any issues with disk fragmentation."

Utilizing a new revolutionary technology called IntelliWrite fragmentation prevention, Diskeeper 2010 intelligently writes files to the disk to prevent up to 85 percent of fragmentation from occurring. Coupled with Diskeeper's superior defragmentation technology, Diskeeper 2010 delivers a complete performance solution for every Windows system at every site, and goes far beyond what defragmentation alone can achieve.

Preventing fragmentation -- and the multiple unnecessary I/Os that go along with it -- also lengthens hardware life. "My databases run on a SAN, and I don't think my systems administrators have had to replace any of the drives supporting my systems," Wood said.

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