Disk Defrag Cures Sluggish Servers at US District Court Site

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Results from disk defragmentation compared to major hardware upgrade

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The time it takes to boot a server has dropped from 20 minutes to 45 seconds

Disk fragmentation is inherent in the design of today's Windows-based environments and without disk defrag software can bring even the newest systems to a screeching halt, as was discovered by the US district Court in Portland Maine after adding several new servers support its growing network and to maximize performance.

Beyond servicing internal demands of the court system itself, the court also provides data online to lawyers and the public. Its Public Access to Court Electronic Records system (PACER) for example, offers case information to authorized users over the Internet. Public records, forms, court opinions and rulings are also available online. As in any business, the IT systems of this U.S. District Court must be kept running smoothly at all times.

However, after an initial period of exceptional performance after the hardware upgrades, even the newest servers became sluggish and many of the court's users began to voice complaints concerning the time it was taking to access their files. Directory listings and file access, for instance, were taking up to 10 seconds and even server response became sluggish.

"One server, for example, took 20 minutes to shut down during reboot," says senior automation manager Kevin Beaulieu. "System deterioration over time was just the 'reality' of the Windows world as far as we were concerned."

In addition to this a steady dwindling in performance on all servers, backups began to take longer than expected. "We also experienced system hangs and other reliability problems." These problems needed to be addressed in order to obtain the system performance, reliability and ROI objectives the court originally set out to achieve with their hardware upgrade.

The U.S. District Court's solution was to install a third party network defragmenter on each of their servers and workstations. A network defrag program checks each file and partition to determine which files need to be defragmented and which should be moved to another location to provide more contiguous free space.

To accomplish this online, so that defrag could occur seamlessly in the background while continuing to support the high demand for system access simultaneously, the U.S. District Court chose Diskeeper.

Diskeeper software provides unparalleled performance and reliability to laptops, desktops and servers. With over 26 million licenses sold, home users to large corporations rely on Diskeeper for a variety of system management tools.

Despite the advanced state of fragmentation at the government site in Maine, the disk defrag software rapidly consolidated all servers and workstations. "The results gotten from Diskeeper compare favorably to what I've seen from major hardware upgrades," Beaulieu pointed out.

By defragmenting its entire network, the U.S. District Court site in Portland, Maine, significantly accelerated performance and system reliability. "The time it takes to boot a server has dropped from 20 minutes to 45 seconds," he added.

As many IT departments find out, as did Beaulieu, using disk defrag software "is vital to system performance."


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Colleen Toumayan
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