SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

September 16, 2009 17:11 ET

Fragmentation: A Major Issue on Large Drives

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - September 16, 2009) - It's interesting that when things are made bigger, some folks assume that they're somehow very different. For example, a person might have been driving one of those old tiny Hondas for years, and then come into some money and purchased a new Cadillac Escalade. It's much larger, so it must be better. They don't realize that it's still a 4-wheeled motor vehicle with an internal-combustion engine. Yes, it might have a lot more bells and whistles -- but in the end it's still subject to the same basic problems that old car was. In fact, because of all the additional features, it might be subject to even more problems.

There is an assumption in the computer world that runs along these lines: because hard drives are so much larger now, and therefore might not be as full, fragmentation isn't really an issue. Not only is this not true, belief in it is an invitation to real trouble.

It's certainly true that larger drives, since they have higher data capacities, won't fill up as fast as the older, smaller hard drives. But being full has nothing to do with it: fragmentation is fragmentation, and it's going to occur, no matter how many files are on that drive. File fragmentation causes both reads and writes to be much slower. Performance suffers, as does hardware reliability due to the thrashing of the read/write heads.

But there is another vital question to ask, especially in today's enterprise: how long is that drive going to remain relatively empty? With today's mammoth amounts of manipulated data and enormous file sizes, such drives are going to fill up, probably sooner rather than later. As they do, having no real defrag solution -- or an outdated defrag technology such as manual or scheduled -- will mean the entire company is impacted. Performance is slowing down. Processes are hanging. Backups and virus scans are taking overly long.

The answer to this problem is to implement a defrag solution that will support your enterprise from the moment large drives are installed. It should be one that, from the moment it is started up, addresses the fragmentation issue from there on out, with no further attention. It should operate invisibly, in the background, using only otherwise idle resources. There is never a negative performance impact on users, scheduling is never required, and performance and reliability are maximized. Permanently.

So a bigger drive does not mean fewer problems. Just as with the motor vehicle, the problems are still inherent, no matter the size.

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