Flash Drive Fragmentation: Who Would Have Thought?
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BURBANK, CA, Oct 28 (MARKET WIRE) -- In computing, speed and performance have always been the top goal. Computers themselves were invented to drastically increase the speed of computations so far more work could get done, and each successive generation of development has served to increase that performance even further. And even though quad-core computers move at lightning speed, especially compared to yesterday's technology, furious and intense work is now occurring in laboratories from Silicon Valley to Beijing to double and triple that processing time yet again. It has always been a task to keep storage speeds somewhere near those of processors, but because storage has traditionally been on mechanical magnetic media this could not possibly be done. Another solution had to be developed in order to access enough data at once to keep processors busy, and this took the form of caching large amounts of data in electronic memory. Taking that concept one step further, the Solid State Drive (SSD) also known as the Flash Drive, was developed. This evolution took storage off of mechanical devices and put it in electronic circuitry, where access comes much closer the speed of memory. And one would think that another barrier common to hard disks -- fragmentation -- would also be eliminated. But unfortunately, that is not quite the case. The problem goes back to the NTFS file system, which is employed by all current Microsoft operating systems. This file system is optimized for hard drives, but not for SSDs. As data is saved to an SSD, free space is quickly fragmented. Writing data to these small slices of free space causes write performance to degrade to as much as 80 percent -- and this degradation will begin to appear within a month or so of normal use. The problem erodes speed, which is of course a primary value of an SSD. Fragmentation also increases the number of erase-write cycles on the drive. This wouldn't be a problem, except that these drives have a limited number of erase-write cycles available. So this free space fragmentation is actually reducing the life of a drive. The answer is to employ a solution that will consolidate free space on flash drives. Not only is write performance brought back to a high-speed level and kept there, but once the solution has been in operation a short time, the normal-use write-erase activity becomes substantially reduced. The net effect of optimizing SSDs -- as with hard drives -- is that the performance and reliability are maximized, and the life of the drive is factually extended. So yes, fragmentation has followed storage technology to flash drives -- but thankfully it is easily remedied by a solution to optimize drive free space. Contact: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2008, Market Wire, All rights reserved. -0-
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