No matter how or where you store your data, solving file fragmentation is vital for peak storage system performance and reliability.
The fact that modern data centers go well beyond the single direct-attached drive(s), and employ advanced storage infrastructures that add additional layers of abstraction, does not eliminate the need to solve fragmentation, according to the "Best Practices for Eliminating Fragmentation with Modern Storage Technologies" report from Diskeeper Corporation.
The new 27-page report outlines the complexity and breadth of the software and hardware used in modern storage environments and defines how these new storage technologies -- including SAN, RAID and virtualization -- contribute to I/O throughput, and how the various technologies can work together with solutions to eliminate fragmentation for optimal disk subsystem performance.
"Physical storage devices and controllers will optimize the location of blocks across the underlying physical spindles according to their proprietary methods, but none are involved with how the file system requests I/Os. The need to optimize virtual disks, SAN, RAID, SATA, SCSI, NAS, HHD, SSD devices continues today, just as it has in the past.
"When bottlenecks occur in the disk subsystem, file fragmentation is a factor that should always be investigated as a contributing factor. To gauge the impact of fragmentation, use performance monitoring tools such as PerfMon, Iometer, or hIOmon. The appendix at the end of this paper provides examples and links to these tools.
"For all the technical data provided on why fragmentation is relevant more than ever with new storage technologies, other real world factors make evaluating fragmentation a worthwhile cause."