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.

Windows IT Pro Webinar - Should I defrag my SAN?

by Michael 4. May 2010 04:59

Later this month (Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 12:00pm Eastern / 9:00am Pacific), IT Analyst David Chernicoff and I will co-host a webinar covering the benefits and caveats of defragmenting SAN attached servers.

Here is the abstract: 

As storage technologies have become more advanced there is a tendency for storage administrators to believe that the hardware is handling all of their data maintenance needs, keeping their files optimized in the best possible way for top performance and availability. The reality is that hardware solutions alone aren't the most efficient way to keep your critical data stored in an optimal fashion. With this webinar we will give you the information you need to understand how your data is actually being handled and what you can do to improve the performance and optimization of your Windows Server storage.

You can register here: www.windowsitpro.com/go/seminars/diskeeper/windows_san 

We also have two webinars planned for June on the topic of virtualization. One jointly with Redmond Mag, and the other with Microsoft. I'll post registration links on this blog when they are available. Lastly, we'll have a reprise of the SSD webinar we did with Microsoft sometime in July - this time we'll host and Microsoft will be our guest.

Tags:

SAN | SSD, Solid State, Flash | virtualization

Do you still need HyperFast if you have TRIM?

by Michael 2. April 2010 11:24

Last month we were a guest on a Microsoft-hosted webinar covering Windows 7, TRIM, and the continuing need for HyperFast. The presentation focused on the most current releases of SSDs from many of the top SSD vendors (Asax, Apacer, Kingston, Micron and OCZ), who were kind enough to provide us with samples. The webinar discussed Windows 7 features to enhance SSDs, covered the benefits of SSD over HDD, and lastly discussed the performance loss due to file fragmentation. That presentation continues to be available for MS partners on the MS partner site.

In the next few months Diskeeper will re-host this presentation, this time with Microsoft as a guest. That webinar will be posted here on the Diskeeper website for everyone to view.

In the meantime, I've included some of the key slides for anyone interested. The tests present aggregate averages from all the SSDs tested, as the purpose was to show their value above HDD, and not as a comparison of one vendor's SSD versus another.  I also realize that there may be questions as to test scenario specifics, etc... Those details were covered in the presentation on Microsoft's site, and will be covered again when Diskeeper hosts the next presentation in a couple of months. So, if you'd like to get into more detail, go to the MS partner portal or stay tuned for the Diskeeper hosted syndication.

The presentation starts by showing that a typical modern SATA SSD (average from above named vendors) clearly outperforms a typical modern SATA HDD.

SSD versus HDD MB/Sec Transfer Rates:

Windows 7 has numerous improvements to accommodate SSDs:

And...

Fragmentation affects SSDs, and yes, even those with TRIM support. Various benchmarking tools and procedures were used to measure the affect of fragmentation on TRIMM'ed SSD performance. (note: TRIM can be initiated in Windows by actions such as emptying the Recycle Bin, but the SSD must also execute the command).

Fragmented SSD versus Optimized SSD test using ATTO Benchmark:

 Fragmented SSD versus Optimized SSD test using HDBench:

 

Fragmented SSD versus Optimized SSD test using PCMark05

Fragmented SSD versus Optimized SSD test using File Copy Test:

Using a specialized SSD optimizer such as HyperFast returns performance to like-new conditions:

In summary, if you want a top performing system, go get Windows 7 and one of those SSDs named above. Then add HyperFast to keep it that way.

Tags:

SSD, Solid State, Flash

SSD review

by Michael 28. February 2010 12:44

In anticipation of an upcoming presentation (March 10) from Microsoft promoting SSDs, and best practices for optimizing SSDs, is a HyperFast review by V3 (from last year). They tested HyperFast to see what benefit it would provide. Read it here

 

Tags:

SSD, Solid State, Flash

SSD Webinar coming next month:

by Michael 13. January 2010 04:47

I'll post more about this joint webinar (i.e. date/time, links) as we get closer to the date: 

Windows 7 and Solid State Drives: Performance Myths and Facts

Presented by Microsoft & Diskeeper Corp.

What are the benefits of SSDs, above and beyond traditional hard drives? What are the myths around performance? Do file and free space fragmentation affect SSDs? How accurate are available benchmarking tools? How can you successfully work SSDs into your current customer offerings?  Join technical engineers from Microsoft and Diskeeper Corporation for this informative webinar.”

Tags:

SSD, Solid State, Flash

Optimizing Cameras, GPS, Smart Phones and other SD Card devices

by Michael 9. January 2010 09:36

Rumack: Fragmentation slows down SD Card performance!

 

Striker: Surely you can't be serious.


 

Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.    

 

The word is slowly [but surely :-)] getting out that fragmentation affects NAND Flash storage - specifically free space fragmentation. The SD Association website is a great resource for edification and development resources. On their page describing the SD Card Speed Classes, they even discuss fragmentation.

 

 

Fragmentation and Speed

The memory of a card is divided into minimum memory units. The host writes data onto memory units where no data is already stored. As available memory becomes divided into smaller units through normal use, this leads to an increase in non-linear, or fragmented storage. The amount of fragmentation can reduce write speeds so higher SD card speeds help compensate for fragmentation.

 

There are several methods to address this issue. One is, as mentioned, buy better performing storage and hope your requirements never exceed the cards ability to deliver on your needs (though fragmentation will still limit the storage's peak performance). However, a better approach is to fix the root issue, and there are two ways to do that.

1. Defragment the free space (e.g. HyperFast, Diskeeper)

2. Copy all the data off the SD Card and reformat the card

The best approach is likely to be determined by the device in which the SD Card is used. If it's from your digital camera, option 2 is probably pretty easy to undertake. If pulling all the data off the card is not feasible, optimize it.

The only other question then might be "how often do I run optimization?". I did a blog post on that, including some performance tests, a few years ago, Read that Here or Here.

Lastly, I thought I'd include a recent personal success from an IT professional who happens to also use Diskeeper at work:

"Happy new year!! I made an interesting test over the holidays using Diskeeper 2010. I was updating my GPS with new maps and discovered that my Garmin unit uses Fat32 file system so I figured I would run your software on it just for fun and see the results. I was able to defragment a large part of the files and it more than doubled the speed of the unit. The images render faster with less stutter, routes are recalculated almost instantly now and it finds points of interest much faster. I did the same test on 2 other GPS`s and got the same results." Regards, Carlo

Tags:

Defrag | SD Card | SSD, Solid State, Flash

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