Windows administrators have had varied opinions about server disk defragmentation. Simply speaking, defragmentation is a good thing. Unfortunately, you cannot apply that blanket statement for all server implementations due to timing, data makeup, volume size, performance, or overpowered hardware.

There are four main ways that administrators currently perform disk defragmentation:

  • Do nothing
  • Run defragmentation tool or command as needed
  • Create a scheduled task
  • Install a third-party tool to manage disk defragmentation and perform cleanups as needed

I have experience with all of these methods, and I will introduce that Windows Server 2008 R2 includes a scheduled task to defragment all local disks.

Windows Server 2008 R2 now includes a scheduled task to defragment all local disks. For organizations that want defragmentation to run in an automated fashion, the default Windows task is good enough for most implementations. More feature-rich defragmentation configurations will gravitate toward a third-party tool such as Diskeeper 2009, which offers superior configuration options to manage the defragmentation of disks, including optimizations for SAN and remote drives.

Shared storage and virtual machine usage are additional points that need a detailed review for each implementation as well. In this configuration, timing can be incredibly important, as a serious risk exists for a number of systems running a defragmentation on the same physical drive array or cabinet across simultaneously.

What are your thoughts about the automatic defragmentation with Windows Server 2008 R2? Do you use Diskeeper? Share your comments.

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