Q&A Monday: Server Disk Defrag


I was recently promoted to a Junior System Admin role at my company, and server maintenance has recently come under my job responsibility.  I was wondering if it is a good idea to defragment the disk on the servers?  We occasionally do defrags on the local PCs, but does defraging a server really help?


Ah yes, the server defrag question.  When I got my first job as Jr System Admin, I ran into this question as well.  The company I worked for at the time, didn’t really have a maintenance schedule, so our server were usually heavily fragmented and we would have some slow server response times because of it.   Though when you’re learning you tend to just get use to that kind of stuff…I did.  When a couple years later I was promoted to System Administrator for that company I implemented a software called DisKeeper on all of our servers.  I was amazed to see that installing the software and scheduling frequent defragmentation jobs on the servers did seem to improve the processing speed of those servers.  Now this improvement wasn’t like night and day, but files did copy a little faster, the databases did run a little faster.  Now on average I saw processing performance from the servers in the area of around 15%-20%.  Though in that company it wasn’t the silver bullet, just for the shear number of data that we housed in the data center, but it did make a difference from what I saw.  Though your results will vary, because as I mentioned the servers were heavily fragmented, but every server can use a little touch-up.  Defragmentation should be one of the many steps you should use in order to make sure your servers are running at the peak of performance.  Each server type will have it’s own ways to optimize output and keep you as sane as possible.

If  you have any questions that you want Jim to answer, from business servers to home computers, drop him a line at me@jimguckin.com, and he’ll try to answer your question.  Check back every Monday for a new Question and Answer session, and check back Wednesday and Friday for other technical insightes.

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