With the increasing popularity of Virtual Machines comes an issue that many may not be aware of. This problem is an age-old issue that has affected systems from the very early days of storage. It can cause hard drive failure leading to expensive data loss scenarios necessitating data recovery professionals. This problem is, of course, fragmentation.
Just like any other software virtual machines still require (unless you have a very specialist setup) to be run from the hard drive, which is still and probably will remain so for many years to come, the slowest part of your system. Drives can be broken in sub parts know as partitions which can then be utilized as a different drive so to speak but hard disk fragmentation is still an issue.
Hard disk fragmentation occurs when files are split in to multiple chunks as they are slotted into spare space on the hard drive. If you are running a solitary OS chances are you have already noticed considerable slow down in your system since purchase. Just imagine two or more OS’s running causing the same file fragmentation! Pretty soon your system could come to a grinding halt.
Fragmentation is the scourge of modern computers as most people fail to conduct even the most basic maintenance on their computers. The situation just get worse over time and some people have even been known to purchase a new system even though there is nothing wrong with the old. On servers and raid arrays fragmentation is far more serious as it slows down business applications and reduces productivity. In very bad instances data recovery is the only method of saving the data.
Each operating system will have it’s own method of dealing with file fragmentation (or not as the case may be). Whilst Mac OS X will automatically defragment a file under the size of 20mb, windows pays scant regard to how badly files are fragmented. Other systems use a variety of different methods to combat the problem.
Defragmentation utilities can take care of this problem, however, running them practically ties up the machine until completion, slowing the machine to a crawl. So what can be done to remove this issue? There are a number of possibilities that can be tried.
Scheduling a defragmentation is a good bet as you can let it run whilst you are doing another task or perhaps out to lunch. Third party applications can do this extremely well.
Invest in dedicated hardware. Not the cheapest solution but for business and power user home systems probably the most sensible route. Dedicated hardware could be an additional hard drive (internal or external) a dedicated raid array or even an SSD device. The actual solution will depend on how mission critical the application actually is.
Ensuring your systems are working in tip top condition is vital to maintaining a productive IT infrastructure. For more great computing tips visit the IT support Bury , or click here for hard drive recovery information and raid data recovery advice..