SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

April 29, 2009 07:19 ET

Built-In Defrag: Not Added Value

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - April 29, 2009) - There are many companies that have added built-in products to their offerings over the years, with varying degrees of success. Most recently, Hewlett-Packard has announced new firewall products that will run on top of their switch platform. The products have yet to be reviewed, but it appears that given their track record for robust and useful hardware and software, this will definitely be a value-added proposition.

Another company, which offers public company valuation software, has added a built-in analyzer tool. The tool compares a target company with up to 50 companies selected by the valuator, saving up to 80 percent of the time normally taken for such an analysis. This built-in addition would also seem to add value.

While built-in additions have added value in some cases, in other scenarios they have not. For example, the defrag tool built into the Windows operating system not only doesn't add value, if solely relied upon as a defragmentation solution, actually detracts. Companies have discovered that when the considerable time and effort is invested into using this product, symptoms of fragmentation such as slow response times, decreased hardware life and even disk crashes continue to occur.

One primary reason is that built-in defrag runs must be scheduled. Due to the fact that many systems today must be constantly up and running, scheduling is at best difficult. In between what runs can be scheduled, file fragmentation continues to build and impact performance and reliability across the entire enterprise. Substantial costs are added when overtime IT hours to arrange defrag scheduling are also factored in.

There are other problems with this tool that decrease its "added value" as well. Only one instance of the built-in defragmenter can be run at a time, and there are no facilities for viewing the state of fragmentation on drives or their condition after defrag has run.

The only true solution to today's fragmentation problems is an automatic one. Fragmentation must be consistently addressed, in the background, utilizing only otherwise-idle resources. No costly scheduling is ever required, and there is never a negative performance impact on users. In fact, the only thing users notice is the maximized performance and reliability of their systems.

In the case of the built-in defragmenter, it is not added value -- in fact, it is value detracted from an otherwise versatile and robust operating system. To gain the utmost value from the OS, a separately purchased defrag solution -- one developed by defragmentation experts -- is the real added value.

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