An Easy Fix for Your Slow VM Performance Explained

Raxco’s Bob Nolan explains the role of the SAN, the storage controller and the VM workflow, how each affects virtualized system performance and what system admins can do to improve slow VMware/Hyper-V performance:

There is no doubt virtualization has brought enormous efficiencies to corporate IT, but better performance is not one of the benefits companies can count on. A survey of IT managers by ZK Research indicated more than 25% of virtualization projects were rolled back to physical servers for performance reasons. That is a 1-in-4 failure rate. Queue contention, disk latency and sluggish virtual machine (VM) performance continue to plague virtualization implementations. Why is it that I/O related performance issues are still an issue as the industry moves steadily to more virtualization and SAN technology?

VMware now recommends an activity that resolves these I/O issues and this blog post explains its importance in depth. To better understand these problems we first examine what is happening at the SAN, controller and virtual machine level and their respective roles in these performance issues.

Download PerfectDisk Performance Optimization Solutions for vSphere and Hyper-V [Read more...]

4 Key Tools for Keeping Windows Server 2003 Viable

4 Key Tools for Keeping Windows Server 2003 ViableAs the Windows Server 2003 end of support date looms (July 14, 2015), IT professionals face a choice similar to the one they faced last year for Windows XP: upgrade or die. If they don’t upgrade their OS, they won’t receive any more security patches but with the way things have been going on Patch Tuesday lately, who knows if that’s a bad or a good thing.

While it’s generally good to keep up-to-date with the latest technology (and security that comes along with it), it may not be in every organization’s budget to upgrade all systems at once, so we have a contingency plan to keep Windows Server 2003 alive and well while you wait to upgrade all your systems or choose to stay with the status quo. No judgments here. [Read more...]

PerfectDisk Improves MEDITECH Server Performance

PerfectDisk Improves MEDITECH Server PerformanceHospitals running the MEDITECH healthcare information system have a significant hurdle to clear when maintaining systems for continuous uptime and maximum performance: files reaching the NTFS File Attribute List (FAL) limit.

Excessive fragmentation caused by the Windows NTFS file system creates major performance issues for MEDITECH installations and Raxco has the only cost-effective defragmentation and performance optimization solution for hospital IT administrators that doesn’t sacrifice system speed in order to do its job. [Read more...]

3 Quick Tips: National Clean Out Your Computer Day

3 Quick Tips: National Clean Out Your Computer DayHow much time do you spend waiting for your computer to respond? Opening windows, launching your web browser, starting programs, even saving your work. Do you have to wait? No, you don’t.

National Clean Out Your Computer Day originated from the Institute for Business Technology in 2000. Executed on the second Monday in February, National Clean Out Your Computer Day is a day to perform much-needed maintenance to improve performance on your computer(s).

Here at Raxco, we have a series of shortcuts you can take that are as thorough as professionally cleaning out your computer. Why waste your time if you can automate your system performance-improving maintenance? No geeks required! [Read more...]

15 Reasons to Optimize Your HDD, SSD or VM in 2015

15 Reasons to Optimize Your HDD, SSD or VM in 2015Fragmentation is still a disk performance issue in 2015 – even with Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012/2012 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere. Whether you’re using an HDD or SSD desktop or laptop PC, physical server or virtualized system, the issue of file and free space fragmentation continues to impact system performance and response times in ways you may have never realized.

Improve HDD and SSD home PC performance with PerfectDisk. (Download business editions) [Read more...]

Windows 10: Free Upgrade, Features and PerfectDisk

Windows 10: Free Upgrade, Features and PerfectDiskWindows 10 is going to be free for some lucky Windows PC and Windows Phone users running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and/or Windows Phone 8.1 on their devices in the first year after its launch.

Optimize Your Windows Hard Drive

New Features in Windows 10

[Read more...]

Too Busy? 4 IT Tools for Taking Back Your Work Day

Too Busy? 4 IT Tools to Help Take Back Your Work DayThe word “busy” doesn’t even cut it when you consider all the work required to be completed by IT professionals before after business hours – to keep operations running smoothly from 9 to 5 (or whenever your business hours occur) – not to mention all the daily emergencies you encounter with less than tech-savvy employees, hardware malfunctions, system and software failures.

InformationWeek’s Kevin Casey offers some useful time management tips, including focusing on only a few specific tasks – or just one task – for a specified time period, shutting off phones and devices to be able to focus on the current task, making good use out of status indicators (so others know not to disturb you), and taking real breaks from the office to refresh and refocus later in the day.

4 IT Tools Help Recover Time in Your Work Day

Kevin’s advice is extremely useful – and not just for IT pros – most people would benefit from his task management tips but there are also tangible cost-effective IT tools you can implement to help save time in your too-busy work day. These tools also help save time for the critical after-hours processes you count on to complete on-time for your return to the office the next business day, starting the whole routine all over again. [Read more...]

Managing Performance When Data Growth Runs Rampant

Data growth is outpacing storage solutions.

According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, storage sales were up Y2Y in Q3 2014. As reported in StorageNewsletter:

Total worldwide disk storage systems factory revenue grew 5.1% year over year to nearly $8.8 billion during 3Q14…

Total disk storage systems capacity shipped was 25EB. New capacity shipments grew 42% year over year during the quarter.

But the biggest market impact came from sales of storage systems by Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) directly to hyperscale datacenters. Revenue generated by this newly tracked set of complete and partially built storage systems grew 22% during the quarter and accounted for 43% of all capacity consumed.”

The open networked disk storage market (NAS combined with non-mainframe SAN) was up 2.1% year over year to $5.1 billion in revenue. External storage systems increased 0.9% to $5.8 billion in revenue.

Data Growth Outpacing Storage Solutions

Storage sales follow forecasts for ever-growing data. A recent study conducted by long-term data storage company Storiant found that:

  • 60% of CIOs say data will outpace their company’s storage solution in 12 months or less
  • 46% of CIOs retain data for 6-10 years due to regulatory and compliance needs
  • Assuming that budgets remain flat, 46% of CIOs say they will have to be selective about which data to keep if they maintain their current storage solution

Older, cold data, that is accessed infrequently is still being stored for compliance purposes, leaving less room for new data that is accessed more frequently.

Keeping Operations Running at Peak Performance Levels

No matter your storage solution (even at home, the more data you create, the more videos, photos, documents, spreadsheets and applications on your PC) one thing remains clear: when you need access to your data you need it fast. The more data you have, the more important it is to keep files – and the free space around them – defragmented and contiguous for faster access.

Anyone who uses PerfectDisk across their network of PCs, servers and virtualized systems knows the maintenance of that data is critical to performance across the entire network – during the active workday to aid in productivity (of employees and of the systems their data is stored and accessed from) and during downtime, when employees are gone for the night or weekend but when systems are still working, especially during physical server and virtualization backups:

  • PerfectDisk’s SMARTPlacement™ disk optimization algorithm provides the best balance between file performance, improved boot times and preventing refragmentation. Boot files are placed at the front of the disk followed by Directories, Rarely Modified, Occasionally Modified and Recently Modified files. The remaining free space is consolidated at the end of the disk to allow for contiguous writing of data.
  • PerfectDisk’s OptiWrite® technology prevents fragmentation from occurring in the first place (and without sacrificing system speed in doing so). OptiWrite reduces the amount of defragmentation energy and resources needed to keep your system running optimally.

Download a 30-day free trial of PerfectDisk (for business or for home PCs and home servers)

The Role of The PC in a Mobile Device World

The Role of The PC in a Mobile Device WorldLast year I wrote a piece entitled Sorry Tablet: The PC is Not Going Anywhere Anytime Soon. A year later, evidence supports the idea that every device has its role – tablet, and smartphone and PC. As it turns out, tablets aren’t taking over as many claimed they would, in fact, tablet sales are down in 2014, and PCs seem to be the “comeback kid” of 2014. But why?

As Paul Thurrott explains in his WindowsITPro blog post (Re-)Embracing the PC:

Tablets are consumption devices first and foremost, especially iPad and Android tablets, and are generally ill-suited to content creation. I carry one for reading, and to watch movies and TV shows on flights. They’re great for casual games as well.

While tablets are for consuming media, PCs are for working and creating:

This leaves the PC … to be a PC. A productivity workhorse that can focus on the tools and tasks needed by content creators. A device that is now freed of the consumption activities we enjoy instead on smart phones and tablets. The PC has a role, a purpose. And if you need to actually get work done, hell yeah, it’s a truck.

In real life, this reasoning is undeniably true. The main things I do on my phone are scroll through Facebook and Pinterest, post and re-pin, watch the occasional short Youtube video, and quickly check email — all using installed apps.

But I feel the need to get on my laptop when I want to shop (it’s easier to see what I’m buying on a larger screen), create content (because typing on a phone and correcting text created by voice are true pains in the neck!), binge-watch Breaking Bad on Netflix, reply in-depth to emails with attachments and log into or view desktop versions of websites (some of which are still much better than their mobile versions).

With this reality comes the responsibility to maintain and care for PC hardware and software in order to work and play at high speeds, with reliability and smooth performance. We need our PCs to keep humming along, they way they performed when they first came out of the box, because they are here for productivity.

Download Raxco Software and take good care of your Windows PC

What’s the role of your PC in this mobile world? What do you use your PC for that you can’t or won’t attempt on a mobile device?

PerfectDisk 13 SP3 (Build 842) has been released

PerfectDiskPerfectDisk 13 Service Pack 3 (Build 842) has been released, with updates fixing the SMART drive temperature, Hyper-V Host and Guest and XP issues in the PerfectDisk client and license pane and defrag monitoring pane issues in the console. [Read more...]