Security

Review: Diskeeper Professional

Diskeeper is very focused on the enterprise market, and includes features that are above and beyond its defragging capabilities.

Diskeeper professional combines quality defragging, a well-rounded feature set, and enterprise management. The downside? Prepare for a serious case of sticker shock.

Note: This review was performed with a free 30 day trial edition of Diskeeper.

Specifications

  • Cost: $59.95
  • Hardware Requirements: 38MB disk space
  • Supported Operating Systems: XP (32-bit only), Vista (32-bit and 64-bit), 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Additional Information: Product Web site
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Who's it for?

In general, disk defragmentation tools appeal to both enterprise IT departments and enthusiasts, power users, etc. Diskeeper, however, is very focused on the enterprise market, and the features that it has above and beyond its defragging capabilities will most likely not be interesting to non-professional users.

What problems does it solve?

The defrag tools on the market range from "mediocre" to "excellent" when it comes to their ability to actually defragment a disk. Diskeeper builds on top of the defragment process itself to provide a product that has the kinds of features that IT departments like. For example, it integrates with Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM)/System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and works with Microsoft Visual SourceSafe (VSS) (typical consumer applications do not need this functionality to be backed up properly).

Standout features

  • Enterprise features: Diskeeper works with Group Policy and MOM/SCOM, and has a central administration system; these are the kinds of features that IT departments value in an application.
  • Feature set: All of the best features that we have seen in other defrag tools (including continuous defrag) are here, as well as some new ones.

What's wrong?

  • Cost: One has to wonder if the management features are worth $59.95 (a full $40 more than Auslogics Disk Defrag). In addition, you need a maintenance contract for upgrades.
  • Complexity: Diskeeper adds some bells and whistles that would feel perfectly at home in a lot of other applications, but not in a defrag tool, and these features add overhead to the UI that other tools do not have.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

Diskeeper Professional really stands out in the world of defrag tools. It has some pretty intense enterprise-class features as far as workstation utilities go. But one has to wonder, "why?" and "is it really worth $59.95?"

The MOM/SCOM integration is a good example. I really do not know of any system administrators who have been clamoring to receive alerts of when a user's drive is too heavily fragmented. Likewise, the various graphs and charts, while interesting (and perhaps providing proof of the application's usefulness), are a lot of clutter on the screen. When people use defrag, they do not want a complex application, they want "set it and forget it" ease of use.

Unfortunately, these enterprise class features also come at the enterprise class price of $59.95. On top of that are the maintenance costs, which are very rare in this particular market. That is an awful lot of money to be spending on defrag, especially given the range of prices in the defrag market - from free to $19.95 for the excellent Auslogics Disk Defrag (which is also free for home use).

That being said, Diskeeper Professional is an excellent advertisement for their server products. While Diskeeper Professional feels like total overkill for most business usage laptops and desktops, the feature set and range of options are dead on perfect for a server.

If you absolutely require central management of your systems and don't mind spending the money, you should look at Diskeeper. If you are a home user, or do not need insight into the defragging on your deployed systems, you are better off with a less expensive or free system.

User Rating

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About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

13 comments
dl
dl

We've been using Diskeeper for over 5 years and can report from actual experience that it is a joy to use. One of its best features that your review fails to mention is that Diskeeper runs in the background without slowing your computer. So it is constantly defragging your hard drive (when the drive is idle) and you rarely, if ever, have to run a manual defrag or even schedule one. On top of that their tech support is excellent and it is located in California. Frankly, it is well worth the price.

msmith
msmith

I will not do business with a member of WISE no matter how good their product or service.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

since I met it along with NT4, as NT4 didn't have an internal defrag tool. Up until WinXP, Executive Software upgraded me from OS to OS for free, and also had a much simpler GUI. At Diskeeper 2008, the GUI complexified, which irritated me along with the price as they would no longer upgrade me for free. I figure they got 'big and bad', deciding that of course they know best and the rest of us can just take it or leave it. Which is so... I'm still using it and will continue to. I'm fond of the boot-time defrag option, which has yet to fail me, as well as frag guard, and paging file options. Thanks for the review, I've been curious to see what you folks have to say about Diskeeper.

jeslurkin
jeslurkin

Good review. I came to the same conclusions some months ago when I tried the trial version (on my 'homey' system.) The 'auto' (continuous) defrag seemed to slow the system more than fragged files did. No use to pay for this on a home system. I later found that Smart Defrag also has an auto-defrag function,... which only runs when the system is idle. This is much better on my old (1.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM) home system.

FTAdmin
FTAdmin

I used to purchase DK for my home PC some years ago, but it has since become too expensive to maintain. The best thing I like about DK is the boot-time defrag; it does wonders for speeding up the memory swap file. If DK were to offer it for only $40 (and perhaps simplify it a tad), I would promote it as a great tool for any business to keep up performance across the company.

shroomos
shroomos

I have been using this product for a while on a home desktop. I was suffering from noticeable lag from fragmentation, but was delaying as I had heard from others of high defrag times on today's large disks.The background defragging is great, and responsiveness has greatly improved

Justin James
Justin James

I received a note from Diskeeper, they let me know that $59.95 is the street price, and that there are volume discounts available (this was not clear on their Web site). One feature that I did not mention was that it is able to prevent fragmentation during the initial file writes. I omitted this from the article because I did not feel that this feature was very useful *for the target audience*. Diskeeper is clearly intended for enterprise desktop usage. That being said, if this were a review of their *server* products, I would be very vocal about that feature. J.Ja

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Are you still looking for a better defrag application?

jeslurkin
jeslurkin

Which WISE? How do you know that they are a member? I have my own reasons for not using Diskeeper: There are free alternatives that perform better by not slowing down the rest of the system to defrag the drive. (Diskeeper slowed my old system more than fragmented files did, ...and I am one of the 'original true believers' in defrag.)

vindasel
vindasel

Yeah, familiar with this as it's deployed on our workstations (I use one on my home desktop as well). Works exactly as advertised: quietly in the background and essentially makes defragmentation a non-issue. Definitely a good utility to have.

TrajMag
TrajMag

Just the sight of "VMS" in a post brings back visions of the most rock solid OS ever written. DiskKeeper was an integral part of every system we built through out the 80's & early 90's.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Job before this I went back to it, along with Fortran. They are still using it. Not as dead a the high street retailers would have us believe.

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