Condusiv Technologies Blog

Condusiv Technologies Blog

Blogging @Condusiv

The Condusiv blog shares insight into the issues surrounding system and application performance—and how I/O optimization software is breaking new ground in solving those issues.

Virtual Server Defrag Heating Up

by Helpdesk 20. April 2006 16:47
Virtual server defragmentation is getting even more attention with the media coverage of our recent partnership initiative with Microsoft. In case anybody missed it, Microsoft's recent announcement mentioned us as one of their key partners involved in pushing forward virtualization technology. See articles in Redmond Magazine, InformationWeek, and CRN. Many IT professionals are currently using Diskeeper to defragment Virtual Server 2005 and VMWare with much success, however there is still work to be done to ensure that the most thorough defragmentation job can be achieved on the host and virtual levels. These technical challenges are why Microsoft has tapped us yet again to push forward defragmentation technology on the Windows platform. Server virtualization has the effect of making the mechanical disk drive an even bigger bottleneck. As I've said before on this blog, automatic defragmentation should play a key part in your virtualization strategy. —Paul

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Yet even more on Free Space Defrag....

by Michael 11. April 2006 15:35
As I suggested in an earlier blog, we have had a handful of comments on Paul's free space blogs. Given the comments, and the relative ambiguity of this whole discussion, I feel I need to clarify Diskeeper's viewpoints on the matter a bit further. I apologize in advance if this blog seems to originate from the Department of Redundancy Redundancy. Also, I apparently have some as yet undiagnosed affliction that causes me to be exceedingly long-winded. I seem to suffer from the inability to write anything less than a novel about any subject; so a second apology for the blog length. To business... Is it possible that some comments originated from Diskeeper Corporation that said free space consolidation is not important, or did not grant it the proper value? Sure it's possible. Personally I have not seen them, but that might just be me, or I may interpret them differently. What I would argue against is the misuse of a comment: i.e. where a statement is taken out of perspective (a frequent topic of late). A case in point would be misinterpreting Microsoft saying free space defragmentation is important, to meaning that free space needs to be "all in one pool". Microsoft correctly, even if with some ambiguity, values free space consolidation and states in the apparently somewhat disputed report that "Ideally, this space would be available in a few contiguous portions of the disk." So exactly how many is "a few" - that is up for debate and personal interpretation. Yes, one could interpret this to say the best application of "a few" is equal to "one". However, Microsoft does not implicitly say "one".

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My last entry

by Helpdesk 11. April 2006 14:07
Regarding my last entry: Someone pointed out (correctly) that the article from Microsoft was not in fact new. I had picked it up on my google alerts and had some difficulty verifying the date it was written. I offer my apologies for the mistake. I also want to point out that some of the commenters on my entry are confused about free space defragmentation. All 3rd party defragmenters defragment free space. Everyone agrees that it needs to be defragmented. The only question is to what degree. Some in the industry have promoted free space "consolidation" or the putting of all the free space into one-pool as an attempt at product differentiation. We disagree with this approach of putting it into one-pool, and always have. Has Diskeeper improved over the years at free space defragmentation? Yes. Should we suddenly switch to "consolidate" free space into one-pool? No. The point of my last post was to point out that the one-pool philosophy is incorrect. Going the extra mile to put all of the free space into one-pool is a waste of resources as it only temporarily creates a pretty disk map. In the article I referenced, Microsoft also endorses a different approach when they state that free space should be in, "a few contiguous portions of the disk." I will let the Diskeeper Product Manager Michael elaborate further.

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In the Oven

by Michael 24. March 2006 12:43
Here's a couple of development projects in the works. Diskeeper Server Enterprise Edition will be adding support for the Intel Itanium platform in the next few weeks. Speaking of Intel, you may be aware that we have a partnership with them and some flavors of Diskeeper ship with their motherboards in the Desktop Utilities CD. That relationship is expanding with the upcoming release of their newest boards later this year. Customers will get to enjoy a special joint software offer from Intel and Diskeeper (on both Servers and Desktops). Stay tuned. Another in-progress development project is "I-FAAST 2.0" (code-name). There are big plans for the continuing development of I-FAAST, which will continue in parallel with other Diskeeper enhancements. I-FAAST 2.0 is currently planned for inclusion in the next major version release of Diskeeper. I-FAAST is, to briefly review, the disk performance calibration technology first introduced in Diskeeper 10. It sequences the most frequently used files to speed up thier access, and it takes measures to speed up new file writes as well. Unlike other applications of file ordering strategies, this one can be scientifically proven to increase performance- no marketing smoke-and-mirrors and no theoretical mumbo-jumbo; just results. Visit our knowledge center and check out the "Benchmarking I-FAAST" report.

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Apples to Apples

by Michael 23. March 2006 20:55
Following up on Paul's recent posting on free space consolidation, I felt the following blog has some relevance. Please note that Paul's post has received quite a bit of feedback and I will respond to that in the next few days, time permitting, because it is a very involved subject. Just over three years ago Gartner, a leading IT Analyst group published a report on defragmentation, and specifically the impact of defragmentation methodologies on free space fragmentation. Gartner enjoys a well-earned reputation for quality and accuracy of its reports, and this typically is the case. However, they do on rare occasion make mistakes. I will play devil's advocate and argue a particular little misstep in this report. Keep in mind that the information about the built-in defragmenter is correct; however, the broader conclusion derived from data applies flawed logic.

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