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Defrag with low disk space

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  • Defrag with low disk space

    Hello all!
    I have a Windows 2003 SP1 server that has a 400GB drive on a SAN unit. This drive currently has 4% free space (we are working on getting the SAN unit LUN extended out to double the space). However until we are able to do that I need to start getting this server into shape. The server is EXTREMELY fragmented with 50% total fragmentation and 99% file fragmentation. There is an average of 116 fragments per file. This server drive holds all of our Lotus notes mail directories and databases. What would be the best way to get started on this volume? Do you think the Windows defrag utility is up to the task? Should I look into getting a third party software such as Diskeeper? Here is what I was thinking about doing:

    1. Full backup of Lotus Notes and Server
    2. Shutdown lotus domino software (per IBM's suggestion)
    3. Run windows defrag.
    4. Restart the Lotus Domino when the defrag finishes
    5. Perform steps 1-4 every weekend until this problem is fixed

    The only problem I currently have is that our Lotus Notes server also runs our backup. Every Friday night we run a full backup, with this drive being so fragmented our complete backup (about 1.6TB) takes a very long time (over 40 hours!) The backup usually finishes Sunday nights around 6PM. That leaves me Sunday from 6PM till Monday morning 6AM to run the defrag. I cannot run the defrag on weeknights because the daily incremental runs almost all night.

    Is it bad to cancel out a defrag midway through the defrag? I don't think that the defrag will finish in 12 hours. I will then have to cancel out the defrag and restart the Domino Server. I believe that once we get the drive defragged my backup will speed up a great deal.

    One more thought to add onto this, our SAN unit has a built in defrag utility. Has anyone ever used the built in defrag utility within an EMC Clariion SAN unit? Would this possible work better than the Windows utility? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. Sorry if this seems confusing, it makes sense in my head
    A+ Net+ MCP

  • #2
    Re: Defrag with low disk space

    First, get more disk. Disk (even SAN) is cheap. Second, get a separate backup box. Hardware is cheap.

    Can you take an N hour outage on something major (like your Notes) and move stuff to another logical / physical drive then defrag then move it back? Backups first!!!

    This IMHO would work much better than this lather / rinse / repeat bit you enumerate as any version of Diskeeper (M$ freebie or licensed) doesn't do well w/ that little free space.

    You may never defrag it w/ 4% free regardless of the hoops you jump through.

    I cancel defrags all the time (wait for I/O to stop -- may take a while -- perfmon is your friend) and I'm sure someone will tell me the evils in that BUT I have yet to corrupt a file or a drive.

    I'm not an EMC guy having worked for HP so you'll need to get someone else's input there. Since defraging is file system specific and EMC doesn't / shouldn't understand NTFS or FATxx or EXT2/3 or ??? so I'm a bit skeptical.


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    • #3
      Re: Defrag with low disk space

      Thanks for the info. We are working on expanding our space on the SAN, the problem we have run into with that is that our current 400GB space is on Fiber Channel drives. We do not have anymore room for more fiber drives and can only put in SATA drives. With the EMC Clariion you cannont extend LUN's and partitions between the Fiber and SATA drives. I have been told by my boss that we cannot have downtime of our notes server during business hours and during our backups.

      I may just wait for my boss to get me the new SATA drives then create a new LUN on the SATA and then migrate all of the data to it. Once I do that I will have 400GB of free space to work with when defragging. I didn't really think that defragging with 4% free space would really work but I thought I would get someone else's input to see if it could be done. I thought that maybe a product like Diskeeper would be able to do the task. Anyone else have anymore suggestions? Thanks again for the advice
      A+ Net+ MCP