Defrag Servers?

rparsons1000
rparsons1000 used Ask the Experts™
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I have a lot of servers from Exchange, Hyper-V, IIS, etc.running on server 2003 & 2008 and am trying to determine if it is really worth defragging them. SCOM reports high fragmentation levels on some from 40% to 95%. In my researching, I see people say it's not worth it and the ones that say it is are primarily from companies selling defrag solutions. My hesitation to defrag goes way back to the 90's when defragging had a possibility to damage, especially if shut down during a defrag.

Can I get a few opinions out there?
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I prefer to defrag the servers at least monthly once, cause it improves the system performance a lot.

Exchange 2000/2003 database does not required any manual defrag since  it run a defragmentation process once a day by default. This process rearranges mailbox store and public folder store data more efficiently, eliminating unused storage space. Exchange database online defragmentation occurs automatically as part of the database maintenance process. Online defragmenting is performed automatically at 2:00 AM every day by default. Online defragmentation makes additional database space available by detecting and removing database objects that are no longer being used. The defragmentation process provides more database space without actually changing the file size of the database.

Refer below links for more info;

http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2005/08/10/62346.aspx
http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/tip/1,289483,sid5_gci888617,00.html

Thanks,
Jay ..
Defrag can improve performance two ways.  1) by moving file block together thus minimizing head travel time and maximizing the probability of read ahead chaiong being successful.  and 2) by reducing the number of entries in the allocation table the OS needs to go through to read or write a file.  With raid 5 implemantaions, #1 doesn't really apply very much as the file is spread accross multiple disks anyway.  But #2 still applies and can be noticable if you have a slow disk system and/or no memory onboard an array processor.  If you have fast diak and lots of memory on a fast array processor, then defrag isn't really going to buy yoo much.

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We genrall use 15K SAS drives and very fast CPU's on our servers so dons6718, that answers my question very well.

As far as exchange, I know it takes care of itself on a nightly basis so am good there but appreciate your input.

I am sharing the points for the time you each took in answering.

Thanks.

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