Review of Diskeeper 2011 Professional with HyperFast

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A few weeks ago we reviewed Diskeeper 2011 for Windows Home Server. Now it’s time to take a look at Diskeeper 2011 Professional with HyperFast. HyperFast is designed for those of us with SSDs.

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The Diskeeper Corporation have been around now since 1981, so you have probably heard of them before. They have produced many different versions of their disk defragmentation software.

This review concentrates on the latest version of Diskeeper 2011 Professional edition, which is available right now. The review will cover why you need it, some of it’s key features, how to install it and then our final thoughts.

Why Do I Need It?

You might ask yourself why you would want to buy disk defragmentation software. Well the answer is that you may not want to. What do I mean by that? Well, put simply it is a matter of personal preference. Disk defragmentation software is one of those topics that often gets one of two similar responses – either “I must have it” or “I don’t want or need it”.

Personally I must have it. If you don’t know why you might want it, put simply, as files are stored, moved, deleted, updated and so on, over time they can be potentially stored on different areas of the disk rather than in a single block. This is called disk fragmentation. There could be thousands of parts of files scattered all over the disks on your home server. What this means is that it takes longer to read and write those files than it would do if they were all in the same place. That annoying delay waiting for that Word document to open? Could be disk fragmentation.

This is where disk defragmentation software comes into play. The software examines the disk and all of your files, figures out where the parts of the files physically on your drives are and attempts to move them together to make things run faster and smoother. This is a good thing – just imagine having hundreds of gigabytes of files scattered all over the disk.

So, are you convinced that you might benefit from defragmentation software?

What’s New and Improved in 2011?

IntelliWrite™

Diskeeper 2011 is the first pre-emptive solution to the problem of fragmentation. Imagine a system that doesn’t fragment data on the hard disk and has requires no I/Os to handle defragmentation. Clean disks enable servers, workstations and laptops to operate at optimum speed reliability and efficiency over time. Disks that are uncluttered by fragmentation can last years longer due to reduced drive wear, easing the strain on tight IT budgets and reducing total cost of ownership for hardware investments.
IntelliWrite fragmentation prevention technology helps you achieve a new level of peak system performance.
Diskeeper 2011 addresses the cause of fragmentation and prevents up to 85% fragmentation. IntelliWrite keeps disks clean and fast by intelligently writing contiguous files to the disk, significantly improving system performance.
This proprietary technology enables faster file reads and writes, with zero impact on system resources during fragmentation prevention. It minimizes and eliminates data replication traffic and storage requirements caused by technologies that monitor block level changes (such as Snapshots). Another significant benefit is greatly reduced drive wear: if disks do not have to work hard writing fragmented files to the disk, they’re spinning less, consuming less power, and generating less heat. Further, with less use, drives will last longer, providing a better ROI for companies and reducing overall hardware costs.

Instant Defrag™ – New

Diskeeper 2011 offers a ground breaking new combination of technology that prevents (IntelliWrite) and immediately eliminates (NEW Instant Defrag) performance-impacting fragmentation so you’ll likely never access slow files ever again. IntelliWrite prevents up to 85% and more, fragmentation from occurring on the initial write. If fragments are not prevented during the initial write, IntelliWrite passes along information about the remaining fragments, in real-time, to the Instant Defrag engines for immediate handling. This exclusive design allows Diskeeper to stay ahead of performance robbing fragmentation on systems that split up data at a high rate. It also minimizes system-resources by eliminating time-consuming whole-volume fragmentation analysis in order to determine what recently written data needs to be defragmented.
The user is informed of the benefits of Instant Defrag in the Dashboard which displays the average time to prevent and handle newly occurring fragments.
IntelliWrite, combined with the new Instant Defrag, provides 100% performance 24×7. With IntelliWrite preventing the vast majority of fragmentation before it can occur, writing files contiguously in the first place, and Instant Defrag immediately eliminating any fragments that sneak by, performance levels are always at peak.

Efficient Mode™ – New

Efficient Mode, new in Diskeeper 2011, minimizes the time and resources used by Diskeeper to restore and maintain peak performance and reliability.
Diskeeper reports information about Efficient Mode in the updated Diskeeper user interface. By tracking the I/O (Input/Output) activity on a system Diskeeper 2011 also now estimates the overall I/Os saved (due to removing fragmentation) with time-based data in the updated Diskeeper Dashboard and cumulative statistics in the Diskeeper History section.
The new Efficient Mode is smart enough to know the difference between fragmentation that is a problem and fragmentation that is not a problem. Efficient Mode only addresses problem fragmentation. By eliminating the extra effort to get to a state of 0 total fragments, the resources required to restore peak performance are minimal. Efficient Mode is available in all Diskeeper 2011 editions except for Home edition.

Performance Report – New

Diskeeper’s new performance report overlays the main User Interface (UI) to provide the user with an instant view of gains they experience with the new Diskeeper 2011. Users will see:
 System Configuration Status
 Read and Write Access Time – % improvement
 How much fragmentation was prevented and eliminated
 Cumulative Number of I/Os Saved

InvisiTasking® – Improved

InvisiTasking has been redesigned to be more assertive in I/O active environments while still maintaining invisible processing. The enhancements allow Diskeeper to accomplish more defragmentation and resolve it faster (e.g. Instant Defrag) during typical production workloads. It also gives Diskeeper, and especially Instant Defrag, the ability to keep pace with rapidly fragmenting volumes in the multi-terabyte ranges.
The “green” evolution undertaken with InvisiTasking for Diskeeper 2011 is to defragment while the system is actively used, but to still do so with zero overhead. InvisiTasking is now more intelligent about when to interject defrag work while a disk is active. In many cases even a fairly active system still has unused resources that can be tapped without starving other processes of resources. Not only does this new design result in energy savings, it also aids in a addressing another growing problem – busy 24/7 systems that are never “idle” long enough for the previous version of InvisiTasking to accomplish its task. New Improved InvisiTasking now allows even large 24/7 never-“idle” systems to be defragmented invisibly with a virtually zero resource hit.

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  • Bill R TechSpec

    Excellent review! There are some other points to keep in mind though.

    When your PC attempts to write a new file (when you save a file after editing, create a new Word or Excel file, or download a new video or song, etc. and try to save it), the disk rarely has enough contiguous free space on it so the file will be broken into pieces, filling in the available free space.

    This is standard practice and believe it or not, some files can be broken into tens of thousands of pieces this way.

    Later, when you access the file (play the song or video, open the spreadsheet to update it, edit your Word document, etc.) your hard drive needs to find each of those possibly 10,000 or more pieces and piece these together so the file can be used (usually it goes into RAM where it can be quickly accessed while it is open or to a reserved space on the disk if RAM is all used up).

    Now look at what just happened here.

    IT specialists look at each of these actions as an”I/O”, which means “In/Out”.

    The request is made to open or save a file(In) and the action is executed (OUT). You ask for a file (IN and you get the file on your monitor to read (OUT).

    Ideally, you should have one or two I/Os to access the file, and one or two to save it (you request it be saved (IN) and it gets saved (OUT). And that is pretty much what would happen if the disk were not fragmented.

    However, if you save the file (IN) and then the PC has to break the file into say 1,000 pieces, it first must catalog each piece so it knows where to find it, and then write it to those locations on the disk.

    We now suddenly have well over 2,000 I/Os (save request = 1, breaking it up = 1 — probably more — logging where each piece will be = 1,000 if the file is broken into 1,000 pieces, and we haven’t even saved the file yet! Writing EACH of the pieces to the various locations on the disk = over 1,000, completing the task = 1). Now the file is finally saved.

    Now most of those I/Os translate into disk motion, that is, the disk has to spin and the head has to go the designated spot and write the portion of the file that will fit on that empty space.

    And then, when you later want to access that file, the disk will go through at least 1,000 I/Os to locate the file bits, read each piece, assemble them and finally present the file in a usable format.

    And this happens to each file that is saved and then read.

    Now the disk is mechanical, so do you see that it’s more than just keeping the files neat and easy to find?

    Keeping the disks defragmented continually means A LOT less disk use, which means less wear, which means the disks will also last longer.

    And since Diskeeper 2011 now prevents most fragmentation, even more I/Os are saved when the files are written, since they now for the most part will not be written in pieces.

    Drastically less I/Os to write them and drastically reduced I/Os to find the files.

    This is why Diskeeper is used by more Fortune 500 companies world-wide than any other defrag program around. Professional IT Managers who oversee and maintain large sites with thousands of computers will only use Diskeeper as they know it helps their disks last a lot longer.

    Sorry for the long comment — I hope this is useful info for you and your readers. :-)

    • http://usingwindowshomeserver.com Andrew Edney

      thanks Bill – thats really useful additional information.

  • dan

    FYI TYPO
    http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2011/04/05/review-of-diskeeper-2011-professional-with-hyperfast/

    Efficient Mode is available in all Diskeeper 2011 editions expect for Home edition.

    s/b except

    • http://usingwindowshomeserver.com Andrew Edney

      thanks Dan – I have updated it. It was taken directly from their documentation :-)

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