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The Importance of Defragmentation to Virtualization and Green Computing
For many years, the mantra of the computer industry was "more power!" Faster chips, faster hard drives, and as much memory as possible was the priority. Minimal attention was paid to the amount of energy being consumed. Now global warming is a top concern, energy conservation has become vital, and key technologies such as virtualization are the focus. It is also known that defragmentation can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of virtualization and the amount of energy consumed.

Virtualization dovetails right into green computing due to the fact that it eliminates the use of additional hardware and conserves power use as well. It allows better use of system resources by allowing multiple operating environments on a single physical hardware platform. Numerous virtual machines can operate and appear as independent machines. There is already a performance challenge in non-virtual environments and file fragmentation simply enhances it.

Virtual machines use of hard drive partitions which appear as drives dedicated to the virtual machines. But underneath the "virtual" software layer, the hardware is storing files the way it always has, using the entire disk and fragmenting files from all partitions across the entire disk. Because virtual machines have their own I/O requests that are passed along to the host system, multiple I/O requests are occurring for each file request. When fragmentation enters the picture, multiple I/O requests are occurring for each fragment of each file. For a file fragmented into tens, hundreds or thousands of pieces, the impact on performance is horrendous.

Because virtualization creates fragmentation at an incredible rate a fully automatic defrag solution, such as Diskeeper® 2008, is needed to improve performance. Diskeeper's proprietary InvisiTasking(TM) technology allows defragmentation to occur whenever idle resources are available -- never impacting performance due to defragmentation -- keeping virtualization performance consistently optimized.

With automatic computer performance is always fast and efficient; therefore less power and fewer resources are used. Another benefit, computers need not be left on at night so that scheduled defragmentation can run. A study by Ecogeek.org found that computers running at night cost an estimated 1.72 billion to U.S. businesses.

For the realization of virtualization and green computing benefits, automatic defragmentation is a must.

Published Tuesday, April 01, 2008 5:55 AM by David Marshall
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