SSD optimization, not SSD defrag…

There’s still, of course, a long, long way to go for solid state drives (SSDs) to even begin to approach hard disk drives in terms of units sold. Still, as prices come down and capabilities improve, we’ll continue to see more and more adoption of SSDs.

This explains some of the strong interest we have seen in our SSD optimization technology introduced with PerfectDisk 12. People want SSDs for speed. Yet we know that PerfectDisk users and the type of people and businesses interested in the best defrag software solutions have always wanted to obtain and maintain the absolute best performance possible. And that desire does not appear to have changed for many SSD users.

The benefits of SSD storage include:

  • Very fast random access times due to elimination of slow electro-mechanical components
  • Low read latency times due to elimination of disk seek times
  • Consistent read performance because physical location of data doesn’t matter (no “fastest” part of the drive as in traditional disk drives)
  • File fragmentation has negligible effect due to elimination of electro-mechanical component (seeking).

So…is there a need for an SSD defrag?

While there has been much discussion around whether or not to defrag a SSD – the consensus is in. Do not defragment an SSD. In fact, you can do more harm than good by performing a defrag on an SSD. But here are some key points surrounding this bit of information:

  • Unlike a hard disk drive, any write operation to SSD storage requires not one step, but two: an erase followed by the actual write.
  • SSD write performance degrades over time.
  •  Since there is no mechanical seek time on an SSD, traditional file-based defragmentation really doesn’t provide any performance benefit.

With SSD storage, the whole idea is to decrease the number of writes/updates to the SSD, so you want to be sure that any sort of optimization pass performed on the SSD does as little “shuffling” of files and data as possible. And this is where PerfectDisk’s intelligent SSD optimization comes into play.

While an SSD defrag provides nothing of value, a performance benefit can be derived from free space consolidation, which eliminates free space fragmentation and consolidates partially full blocks of data. High free space fragmentation is a strong indicator that a high instance of un-TRIM’ed, or partially full blocks exists. Thus, a new requirement for SSDs in terms of optimization — and it’s not an SSD defrag.

With PerfectDisk 12, we’ve drawn upon our pioneering work with free space consolidation to provide a new SSD Optimize method in PerfectDisk that focuses exclusively on what matters for performance to SSDs. Intelligent analysis is performed automatically and then utilizes sophisticated free space placement algorithms to provide peak SSD performance. The steps taken include consolidating the free space on the drive without also performing a traditional file defrag, and identify where the largest section of free space is located and consolidating the free space in that location – regardless of whether it is at the beginning, middle, or end of the disk.

By working with the beneficial properties of solid state drive technology, PerfectDisk’s SSD Optimize is able to maintain SSD performance over the long term, without causing additional wear on the disk.

PerfectDisk 12 for SSD optimization and better SSD performance — not SSD defrag.





Comments

  1. James Carey says:

    To myself, the casual observer, there seems to be a logic flaw somewhere here. First, a file may be fragmented into more than two parts. Thus, the number of reads necessary to access the file would increase as would the number of writes, if and when the file is modified. The question is, which would cause faster drive degradation, defragmenting the drive or the additional read and writes resulting from not defragmenting the drive? It seems a trade off. The drive will die, the only question is which will kill it first?

    • Hi James,

      We are saying — do NOT defragment the drive, as you will get drive degradation, as you say. We do recommend consolidating the free space; PerfectDisk accounts for this in its SSD Optimize algorithm.

      Thanks.

  2. During space consolidation, the software consolidates space instead of making fragmented files contiguous. That also involves extensive writing in the SSD. Please explain why such optimization may not cause any harmful drive degradation?

    • Hi Soumya,

      Thanks for your comment and question. For the free space consolidation that is done for SSD drives, PerfectDisk identifies where the largest section of free space is located and consolidate the free space in that location – regardless of whether it is at the beginning, middle, or end of the disk. And it just needs to be done occasionally. So there are some writes being done, but it is minimal.

      Thanks.

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