SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

February 10, 2011 15:28 ET

Where Do Performance Bottlenecks Leave the User?

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - February 10, 2011) - While there is much computer system activity going on behind the scenes that a user will never know about, that user is the most important link in the chain of automated business activities. He or she is the one actually getting the work done -- getting customers sold on products or services, ensuring that those products or services get shipped or delivered, getting bills paid in a timely manner, and collecting funds owed the company. If something is impeding that user from performing a job function, that factor should be dealt with rapidly.

From an IT standpoint, the end-user experience can be the gauge on which the IT department can measure its job performance. While there will always be user complaints that IT groans at -- such as, "What happened to my wallpaper?" and "Why is this web site down?" there are legitimate ones such as those dealing with slow performance, internal access delays and process hangs that should be addressed with priority. Such occurrences stem from performance bottlenecks.

Performance bottlenecks can have many sources, and IT staff can spend countless hours trying to track them down and alleviate them. One major source of such bottlenecks that should be addressed first, however, is file fragmentation. Fragmentation is the splitting up of files in thousands or tens of thousands of pieces (fragments) in order to better utilize disk space. Free space is also fragmented in this way, causing files to be written in a fragmented fashion.

Fragmentation has normally been dealt with using a defragmenter -- whether it be manual, scheduled or automatic. A defragmenter addresses fragmentation after the fact, re-organizing the disk and putting the pieces back together again. This method has various levels of effectiveness depending on how often it can be done and how advanced the defrag technology is.

Today's performance bottlenecks, however, actually require a more comprehensive solution than just a defragmenter. Performance software exists that actually prevents a majority of fragmentation from occurring, will sequence files for faster access, and much more. Additionally, it will perform these tasks invisibly, in the background, so that there is never a requirement for IT to schedule maintenance.

The difference made in the permanent alleviation of such bottlenecks is eventually and ultimately felt at the user level. When hardware performs at its expected speed, when processes complete as rapidly as possible, and when access is near-instant, the user is then able to get more work done. Such a change is felt all across the enterprise.

There will always be different types of bottlenecks affecting performance -- but those that are involved with the reading and writing of files from disk should always be addressed first.

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