SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

September 09, 2010 07:19 ET

High-End Solutions for High-End Technology

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - September 9, 2010) - If you were ever lucky enough to be able to purchase a high-end vehicle such as a Lamborghini, you'd find out very quickly that you cannot use low-cost items for it. For example, you couldn't run it on discount regular unleaded gasoline -- it requires high-octane fuel. The same goes for the oil; in consulting the owner's manual, you'd discover that to keep that engine operating at its high level, the oil requirements are very specific. It would be the same story for the tires -- the discount variety just won't work for a car that eats normal tires for breakfast.

In the universe of computers, there is now sophisticated high-end technology finding its place in normal business. This technology includes Storage Area Networks (SANs), virtual machines, and many others still emerging. Such technology takes fairly run-of-the-mill hardware to levels never before achieved. SAN makes it possible to place high-capacity storage off the main server and network channels, freeing up resources for priority computing and making storage faster and safer. Virtualization makes it possible to fully utilize hardware resources by running multiple servers on a single hardware platform.

Just as with that Lamborghini, however, technologies such as these cannot be properly supported with low-cost or free solutions. A great example is the address of file fragmentation. Fragmentation on SANs not only affects access speed on drives, but with thin provisioning technology enabled also means wasted space. Fragmentation in virtual environments means multiple I/O requests at minimally 2 different levels: host and guest systems. In short, fragmentation seriously affects each of these technologies and prevents them from functioning at their best; it takes an equally high-tech fragmentation solution to keep them performing at maximum.

A cheap or free fragmentation solution normally must be scheduled. In environments such as these, scheduling can rarely if ever be done because the system downtime cannot be afforded. Such a solution also cannot keep up with the high rates of fragmentation generated in such environments -- a fact that is unfortunately not realized until system personnel are having to chase all over the company addressing issues that in actuality are caused by fragmentation.

Today, such environments must be allowed to run unencumbered; fragmentation must simply cease to be an issue. For such to occur, the solution implemented must be fully automatic, addressing fragmentation before or as it occurs with absolutely no impact on users, and no valuable hours spent by system personnel to schedule or run it. And most important of all, it must be able to address each fragmentation scenario completely so that it is no longer a problem.

It only makes sense to fit high-end technology with high-end solutions.

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