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Opinions Please... Defrag a server's pagefile or not?

By Tech_Lady ·
I am currently using a trial version of Diskeeper 2011 Server on one of our agency's Windows 2003 Servers and it shows that the pagefile is in 771 fragments! The system has 4GB of RAM and a static pagefile size of 6GB set. Performance has suffered some mainly due to the fact that the 300GB HDD Raid array is pretty full. I've been cleaning files off of it and now have about 70GB free. Diskeeper does seem to be improving performance.

The problem is that this server is used 24/7 as a host to our timeclock software (along with a lot of other software) so having it down for any extended period of time causes disruption, even overnight as we have overnight staff. If I schedule a boot time defrag and reboot at 1:00 a.m., how long can I expect the PC to be down for the pagefile defrag, or is it worth it? Will defragging the pagefile increase performance noticeably?

Thanks to all the been-there-done-that pros for opinions! :)

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All Answers

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Ok you may not like my answer but

by markp24 In reply to Opinions Please... Defrag ...

Hi,

before we work on the defrag iss, im concerened as this seems to be a vital service running on the server, and you do not mention any load balancing, high availability or DRS that is in place.
If you had one of ths in place you could take the server down for maintenance. (all servers need to be maintenanced and having a second one is a good idea. Would you be able to have a second one for DRS/Load balancing, etc? (it could be done as a Virtuial server if needed, so hardware cost is minimal if you run it from another exisiting server, or base it in the cloud.

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Reponse To Answer

by Tech_Lady In reply to Ok you may not like my an ...

Wheels turn slowly in a non-profit world. You are correct - we are in dire need of getting away from a single point of failure. I have a proposal on the table to get budgeting for a new server with virtualization to use for these purposes. I've been telling management that this one server doing everything could be bad news. The words are heard, but since everything works, the urgency isn't felt. We do have frequent backups of data, but no failsafe when it comes to running applications. This Dell PE2800 box is an Exchange Server, app server (including payroll and HR apps), SQL Server, and file server. Luckily, we're a fairly small organization. I am very aware of the precarious position this server puts us in, but thanks for pointing it out. I'm just trying to keep it running as smoothly and efficiently as possible until the network upgrades get funded so we can move toward recovery options in the event of a failure. I hope and pray is keeps running until then. I'm also looking at cloud-based solutions, but HIPAA compliance and security gives me pause.

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MS page defrag . . .

by Who Am I Really In reply to Opinions Please... Defrag ...

no large / long downtime necessary

page defrag here:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897426

get as much free space as possible
defrag the disk a couple of times

run page defrag
select the option to defrag the PF
and reboot, you shouldn't be down for very long

I ran it once on a Celeron-II 667MHz with an ATA-33 disk running XP and it was done in less than 1/2 hour

and just a note:
the PF must be defragmented offline
meaning the only time it can be done is before windows loads

diskeeper can't do it live
it can however prevent it from getting non sequential fragmentation when the OS whines about running low on Virtual Memory and expands the PF

.

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time server defrag

by SystemCheck In reply to Opinions Please... Defrag ...

we have somewhat of a similar system running here, purchase or use the trial. start off with the boot time defrag, its quick and works amazing, then do a smart placement, and your done.

time server can be taken offline temporarily due to the fact the data can still be uploaded afterwards.

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Reponse To Answer

by markp24 In reply to time server defrag

thats a good call!! Great method!!

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PF Defrag

by IrishMike In reply to Opinions Please... Defrag ...

One easy way is to switch pagefile off, reboot and then re-create the page file again and reboot again. Depending on the speed of rebooting your server this may be a better approach :)

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