SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

December 30, 2008 17:24 ET

How Fast, How Far We Have Come -- And We Need Defrag to Match

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - December 30, 2008) - As we contemplate the first changeover to a Democrat presidency in 16 years, it is interesting to take a look at how far we have come technologically since that time. The speed, the capacity and the plummeting prices of all these elements could not have even been envisioned as Bill Clinton was elected in 1992.

Some interesting facts in this regard are pointed out in a recent Forbes magazine article. For example, very few had become savvy to the internet, and monthly internet traffic consisted of a mere 48 terabytes. That is the same amount that is today streamed by YouTube alone -- every 41 seconds. In 1992, a good sized hard drive had a capacity of around 40 megabytes. Today, drives are available with capacities of 1 terabyte and higher -- which, based on the 1992 price, would have cost in the neighborhood of $5 million if it were even available. Memory has also become extremely cheap -- in late 2008, 4 gigabytes of flash memory cost $14.99. In 1992, this same purchase would have set someone back around $500,000.

One can contemplate whether the growth in technology spurred trends in technology use, or vice versa. Either way, as capacities grew, so did the need for them. Back in 1992, most files consisted of text only, with few resource-hogging graphics. Today, however it is not only graphics but photos, video and audio files that are quite commonplace. These are not only saved as files alone, but also within other resources such as reports and database files.

Such enormous amounts of data stored on a single drive present a new set of problems when it comes to defragmentation. As one might suppose, larger files -- and more of them -- mean higher amounts of fragmentation. The average defragmenter might work fine for the 20GB drive for which it was developed. It starts to run quite a bit longer by the time it gets to 100GB, and at 500GB it's really straining. This same defragmenter when run on a terabyte drive, though, simply grinds endlessly for days, never actually resulting in a fully defragmented disk. It just can't cope with the sheer volume of fragmentation.

Thankfully, defragmentation technology is now catching up and now exists to deal squarely with these enormous amounts of data. Defragmentation engines have now been designed specifically to tackle 1 TB drives and higher -- and actually complete them in a timely manner. And because scheduling has become so difficult on today's servers that must run 24X7, this technology runs completely automatically, in the background, utilizing only otherwise-idle resources. Scheduling is never required, there is never a negative performance hit from defrag. The performance and reliability of these large drives is consistently maximized.

As regards capacity, we have come a long way since 1992. As you usher in a new era, make sure you have the defragmentation to match.

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