REVIEW: Diskeeper 2010 Keeps Disk Defrags to a Minimum
Not only does Diskeeper's software attempt to prevent fragmentation from ever occurring, but it cuts power consumption and unnecessary I/O operations.In the life of a Windows machine, nothing is certain but malware sweeps and disk defragmentation. Both chores are deployed regularly in hopes of holding off bit rot, and each has a knack for sucking up resources and generally getting in everyone's way-despite ongoing vendor efforts to tuck these tasks into the background. I suspect that anti-malware efforts will always be messy-at least until application whitelisting tactics like the ones that Andrew Garcia discusses here become more broadly accepted. However, there may be new hope on the disk fragmentation front, in the form of Diskeeper's Diskeeper 2010 software.
Diskeeper, the company responsible for the disk defrag tool that ships along with Windows, is out to attack disk fragmentation by preventing it from occurring in the first place. Diskeeper 2010 ships with a new feature called IntelliWrite that works by intercepting disk writes and carrying them out with a focus on keeping files contiguous.
By keeping fragmentation to a minimum-the company claims that up 85 percent of fragmentation can be avoided-Diskeeper 2010 promises to cut power consumption, disk wear and redundant I/O operations. Cutting down on unnecessary I/O can be particularly beneficial when dealing with virtual machines situated on shared storage, or with systems running on solid-state drives, with their inherent write-cycle limitations.
This all depends, of course, on how regularly IT administrators conduct disk defragmentation jobs on the Windows desktops and servers under their care. Opinions on the exact performance implications of disk fragmentation fall all over the map, and much depends on a company's particular environment. Few deny, however, that disk fragmentation catches up with all Windows machines eventually.
With that said, IT administrators who turn frequently to disk defragmentation tools should have a look at Diskeeper 2010, which is available in 30-day trial versions for each of its editions: Professional, Pro Premier, Server, EnterpriseServer and Administrator. For a breakdown of each of these versions and their prices, check out this comparison page.
For this review, I tested the Pro Premier with HyperFast edition, which sells for $99.95. The least costly edition, Professional, sells for $59.95 per seat. All editions include the IntelliWrite feature. I conducted most of my Diskeeper 2010 tests on Windows XP SP3 virtual machines with NTFS-formatted drives running under the VMware vSphere 4 setup in our lab.