SOURCE: Boyers Marketing

October 10, 2007 15:34 ET

The Worst Computer "Virus": The Fragmentation Disease

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 10, 2007) - A recent TMCnet article (http://www.tmcnet.com/viewette.aspx?u=http%3a%2f%2fwww.tmcnet.com%2fusubmit%2f2007%2f09%2f20%2f2954293.htm) describes how today's faster, higher-capacity computers succumb to file fragmentation even faster than older models did. The increased capacity (meaning higher number of files) and larger file sizes means fragmentation is occurring more quickly, and affecting performance and access more than ever.

File fragmentation is the computing world's oldest disease, and it's apparent that it's not going anywhere. The fundamental reason for its existence is to fully utilize disk space; files saved in fragments mean that more files can be saved. Hence, this disease will continue as long as there is magnetic storage media, and will always worsen with continued use of that media.

In a corporate environment, fragmentation heavily hinders production. Slow access means longer times to complete work -- and that affects the bottom line. Some companies have applied defragmentation solutions only to their server disks, thinking to save money by ignoring fragmentation on workstations or employee laptops. This is especially true when working files are saved on file or database servers -- the reasoning is that since most of the file activity is happening on the servers, that's where the highest level of fragmentation is occurring, and that's where the most performance benefit will be gained.

If you take a closer look, that is only a partial truth. What happens when work is occurring on those local workstations or laptops? Incremental versions of files are being saved. Temporary files are being written to the disk and deleted. Generally speaking, work is occurring. And where work is occurring, there is traffic to and from the local hard drive. And as countless analyses have shown, that traffic is what causes fragmentation to continue, increase, and most importantly, impact performance.

Many sites have already made this discovery, and now make sure their fragmentation solution is deployed with every new system. But for those sites that have not, it would well behoove them to either utilize a utility to analyze fragmentation on each of their computers, or perhaps even better, download defragmenter trialware for such computers and note differences before and after defragmentation. They'll be in for a very pleasant -- and productive -- surprise.

The fragmentation disease is not just crippling, it is pervasive. It is anywhere there is disk activity. Make sure you fumigate in all places where this "virus" could crop up.

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