SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

December 14, 2010 17:32 ET

Fragmentation Solutions: "Nice to Have" or "Must Have"?

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - December 14, 2010) - In computing, there are some things that are "nice to have." For example, a new, screaming server to replace the old one that's still doing an adequate job; upgrading to broader-band network cable, when the current cable is still carrying the load just fine; larger monitors for users, when the ones they have will serve.

"Must haves" would include a new server when the old one has died, or new network cable to replace that which doesn't cut it any longer, or monitors to replace those that have failed. It would also include the latest versions of applications, when the newer versions solve problems of the older ones.

Would a fragmentation solution fall into the "nice to have" category? Let's just propose, for a moment, that it would, and that it isn't put on a brand new system. The system is put in, with all the latest innovations such as SAN and virtualization, and fired up. Right from the very beginning, files being written and read are going to be fragmented; performance is already below what it could be. But before very long, performance has slowed down so noticeably that users are starting to clog up the help desk with complaints. Following that by a small margin of time, processes start to hang unexpectedly. A little further down the road, drives are starting to crash, and then some start to wear out before their time.

Besides that, today's latest technological advances suffer in their own unique ways from fragmentation. For example, in virtual machines there are a minimum of two I/O requests, one for the guest and one for the host system; fragmentation has a profound effect on their operations. Fragmentation robs SAN of its main benefit -- speed -- and creates wasted disk space besides.

The net result is lost performance, which equals lost productivity. It means many valuable IT hours spent chasing down each individual problem, and attempting to solve it without solving the actual underlying issue. It also means wasted hardware resources.

Such effects clearly move a fragmentation solution over into the "must have" category. Made part of the installation package across a site from the very beginning, a fully automatic solution -- one which will prevent a majority of fragmentation from occurring in the first place -- ensures that fragmentation never causes problems again. Performance and reliability are fully maximized, and systems with the latest innovations run as they were intended: at top speed.

"Nice to have" or "must have"? You be the judge.

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