SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

April 15, 2009 07:20 ET

Defrag: When "Built-In" Doesn't Fit

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - April 15, 2009) - There are times when built-in functionality fits neatly with and enhances a program's overall operation. For example, a database program could have built-in tool packages to assist programming and implementation, templates and short-cuts for faster implementation and administration tools of various levels and kinds. Generally, such tools would be expected to provide greater functionality, scalability or flexibility to the main program -- and they often do.

Operating systems are equipped with many such tools for tailoring installation, maintenance, debugging and many other functions. Along that line, it would seem to make sense that an operating system be equipped with a built-in defragmenter. Operating systems fragment files -- they always have -- hence it would be logical that the OS be equipped to deal with that fragmentation.

The problem is that the software company providing the operating system is an expert on OSes -- getting them up and running, optimizing them, debugging them and measuring their performance. For reasons best understood by that company, they have not made themselves experts on defragmentation, and it shows in their built-in defragmenter. While it is laudable that they have acknowledged file fragmentation as an issue, the built-in actually does little to nothing to address that issue.

First, it must be scheduled. In today's computing universe, especially since the advent of the Web, many servers must be constantly up and running. That makes scheduling extremely difficult, and valuable IT time must be spent in this endeavor. Scheduled defrag is also a "lick and a promise" solution; in between the runs that can be scheduled, fragmentation continues to compound and impact system performance and reliability.

The built-in defragmenter also has other shortfalls. 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.

Today's enterprise requires a defrag solution that consistently addresses and completely eliminates fragmentation as a problem, so that system performance and reliability are always assured. It runs in the background using only otherwise idle resources, never negatively impacting users, and never requires costly scheduling. Such a solution can be run in as many instances as necessary, and also provides detailed reporting on the state of fragmentation on disks and the results of defragmentation.

While the built-in utility is "free," the man-hours lost having to handle the effects of fragmentation are not. It is far more cost-effective to purchase a defragmenter from a company expert in the field -- just as you have purchased your OS from operating system experts and your database from database experts.

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