SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

February 17, 2009 11:58 ET

Completely Automatic Defrag: The Key to Server Reliability

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - February 17, 2009) - How important is a server within an enterprise? One might as well ask, how important is client information? How important are company financial records? How important is a company's web site, through which the world views the corporation and its products? How important is a prospect or customer resource management (CRM) database?

In addition to the importance of the server itself, very close in importance is speed of access to that server's data. A prospect having to wait on a web page to load is likely to go somewhere else. A sales rep with a prospect on the phone, having to wait for product or pricing information, is losing that prospect's interest by the second. Accounts receivable, having to wait for invoices to be generated, is losing valuable income. Slow-responding email servers delay communications vital to the company's prosperity.

While there are many aspects to properly maintaining a server, a key factor in server reliability and performance is file fragmentation. Due to the excessive I/Os needed to retrieve fragmented files -- or save them into fragmented free space -- a hard drive's life can be shortened by 50 percent or more. Access times on badly fragmented drives are many times slower than on a defragmented drive. The net result is a server that isn't "serving" but instead is a constant source of complaints and costly problems.

Companies who are still employing scheduling defrag to address fragmentation are finding that the problem is mysteriously still not handled. They are yet suffering complaints of slow performance and experiencing reliability issues. The reasons for this are simple. First, because many servers must today maintain constant uptime, scheduling defrag when most or all users are off the system isn't really an option, and schedules are increasingly harder to set. Second, in between scheduled runs fragmentation -- which in today's environments can be worse than ever -- continues to mount and impact performance and reliability.

The only workable method for ensuring that servers remain fragmentation-free is with the use of a fully automatic defragmentation solution. By this is meant a solution that runs entirely in the background, invisibly, using resources that would otherwise be idle and having no negative performance impact on users. Scheduling is never a problem because it is never required. Because defrag is consistently occurring, peak performance is always maintained and hard drive life is extended to expected limits and, in many cases, beyond.

A server is probably a company's most valuable asset. Fully automatic defrag is the key to its long-term reliability.

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