SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

December 17, 2008 18:46 ET

Terabyte Drive Defragmentation: Sometimes, You Need Red Adair

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - December 17, 2008) - There are fires, and then there are fires. There's the typical structure fire that can be addressed with hoses and ladders. There are forest fires that are addressed with aerial water drops. But then there are oil well fires -- conflagrations that most firefighters wouldn't even attempt. For many years, there was only one man who had the know-how and technology to successfully attack and put out the toughest of these. He put out "the devil's cigarette lighter" in the Sahara in 1962. He was personally requested by President Bush for the oilfield blazes in Kuwait in 1991. He successfully fought thousands more that couldn't be addressed by others. His name was Red Adair, and within his lifetime became a firefighting legend.

In the world of computers, there is fragmentation, and then there is fragmentation. There is the fragmentation on the average 50 GB drive that can be addressed with a standard defrag engine. That engine also might work on up to 500 GB or so. But when a drive gets up into the Terabyte range -- and drives are soon to hit into the 10 TB zone -- your average defragmenter won't even touch it. It will simply grind and grind and endlessly run, and will be about as effective as a fire hose on a burning oil well.

Multi-terabyte hard drives have become more common than ever. Such drives have been made necessary by the growing number of files being created by today's applications, the huge amount of data being saved and manipulated by today's enterprises, the larger file sizes required by applications such as video and audio.

Despite early rumors to the contrary, large drives do suffer from fragmentation -- and badly. Because the operating system fragments files automatically, fragmentation has nothing whatsoever to do with the size or speed of the disk. Small or large, the files written to a disk will be fragmented, and a defragmenter will be required. The considerable performance increases from defragmentation on large drives have been documented repeatedly, and anyone can simply test for themselves with before and after tests with defragmentation trialware. Such gains are understandable given the higher volume of files and file sizes inherent with the utilization of large disks.

But just like it took Red Adair and his crew to successfully put out an oil well fire, it takes an appropriately powerful defragmentation engine to tackle multi-terabyte drives. Ensure any defragmenter you employ has a defrag engine specifically designed to attack the severe fragmentation on such drives.

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