There have always been all kinds of “free” or “included” items, meant to sweeten the sale of a main product. For example, you buy a new home in a subdivision, and the kitchen appliances—oven, stovetop, microwave, dishwasher—are already built-in. It might also include, “free” a washer and a dryer. Or, you buy a new computer, and it has a built-in camera. On top of that, it may even include free video editing software.
The upside is that these items were free, or included in the overall price. The downside, however, is that you’re now stuck with trying to make them work for the functions you intend. Are those kitchen appliances going to be what you really need for cooking—or would it have been better if you’d been able to pick your own, after you’d thoroughly checked them out? Or, how good is that camera included with your computer going to be? Could you do a professional shoot with it? And, is it possible to perform a competent editing job with the free video software?
Chances are, these items are nowhere near what you actually require in terms of functionality and features.
The same holds true for a “free” or “included” defragmenter. Fragmentation—the splitting of files into pieces, or fragments, for better utilization of disk space—is the primary drain on computer system performance and reliability. If it is possible to obtain a fragmentation solution for free, and that solution does the job, it’s certainly a winning situation.
The problem, however, is that because of the many innovations in today’s computing environments—such as thin provisioning, replication, snapshots, Continuous Data Protection (CDP) and deduplication, to name but a few—it takes more than a defragmenter, free or otherwise, to do the job. An optimization solution, which addresses a broader scope of issues than fragmentation only, is required.
Another issue is that even as a defragmenter, a free product has severe limitations and cannot address the enormous file sizes, voluminous drive capacities and high rates of fragmentation inherent in today’s systems.
A robust optimization solution addresses several aspects of file read and write I/Os in addition to fragmentation—a majority of which is prevented before it even happens. It includes intelligent ordering of files for faster access, and other advanced technologies designed to automatically maximize system performance and reliability. Most importantly, it is truly up to the job of dealing with these important issues in today’s systems.
So carefully check out “free” or “included” items. Upon testing and inspection of features and functionality, you’ll find that you’d be better off paying the relatively inexpensive up-front cost, to save untold waste in time and money down the road.