More data, more storage requirements, more data retrieval and longer retention of
data have made the speed and efficiency of regular backups a vital component of
corporate IT success.
And yet, the time required for
backup continues to increase while the time allotted for it remains constant. This
is a critical issue and becomes more important when it is understood that despite
advances in backup technology, backup speeds continue to slow as a direct result
of increasingly non-optimized data on the disk.
Data backup involves file access that creates million of I/Os to reads and write.
File fragmentation where files are scattered in pieces will cause the number of I/Os
to grow exponentially. Each I/O represents a unit of time and a degree of latency.
Backup times creep up and quickly exceed their windows. Solutions to handle this,
including more hardware, will never be effective if the underlying cause is not
eliminated or prevented in the first place.
In a Windows IT Pro study, Diskeeper®
data performance software was tested to see if it had an impact on data backup
In the first test, they backed up the test volume using disk-to-disk backup as supported
by Windows Server Backup, which is a component of Windows Server 2008. Backup was
done using the VSS copy method, which is designed to work with other backup tools
that would require that the archive and backup information in the files remain unmodified.
They backed up to a SATA-attached dedicated hard drive that was reformatted between
tests. Timing was done using the backup application.
Backup Tests (measured in seconds)
- Low – Fragmented 1193
- Low – Defragmented 1130
- Medium – Fragmented 2787
- Medium – Defragmented 2300
- High – Fragmented 6960
- High – Defragmented 6620
While different backup tools will be differently affected by disk fragmentation,
the tests showed one simple fact; defragmented disks back up faster. Individual
runs demonstrated performance improvements of up to 20 percent with our test data
set and the built-in Windows Server backup. Our least effective test result, a large
data backup that can represent a significant amount of time, still showed an improvement
of 5 percent. Our highest report results, which averaged a 17 percent reduction
in backup time, shows that reducing or eliminating disk fragmentation prior to backup
will allow larger amounts of data to be backed up, especially if time is a constraint
in your backup process.
Diskeeper and V-locity resolve the issue of fragmentation by preventing most of it from occurring
in the first place using IntelliWrite® fragmentation prevention technology. What
little gets through is instantly defragmented before it can affect storage performance.
"IntelliWrite makes an impact on performance that I didn't really expect. On the
workstation, I don't feel like I need to constantly clean up after testing software
or spending a day researching on the Web. That's a time savings I enjoy. On the
server side, I have a document repository that consists of millions of files and
nearly 2 TB of space. Backup windows are tight and knowing IntelliWrite will keep
that data contiguous means my backup window has breathing room. You can't argue
with that for a performance improvement."
– Mark Glowacz, Integrator,
"This new instant Defrag puts Diskeeper far ahead of any other defragmentation software.
This is my favorite feature. I've seen a huge decrease in my backup times because
of the new server version.
"I've seen as much as an 88% performance gain on one server."
– Angela McCord, Network Administator,
Download a free trial of Diskeeper or V-locity to increase the speed of your data backup today »