Product Reviews

Defragging the Enterprise

Keep your network running smoothly with Defrag Manager.

Common wisdom recently held that NTFS would never need to be defragged, but with the increase of defrag products in the market and Microsoft’s recent inclusion of a barebones defrag utility, it’s become obvious that that wisdom was short-sighted.

Winternals now offers Defrag Manager. This interesting product allows a single machine to schedule defragmentation for multiple machines across an enterprise. The client software is auto-downloaded to the client as needed at runtime and can be deleted after completion.

Defrag Manager supports Windows NT 4.0, Win2K and Windows XP. Automatic client code downloading requires that workstations have file-and print-sharing enabled, and servers running Server service, along with an admin share for the management machine. This management machine needs to have Task Scheduler installed, which is part of Win2K and XP and can be added to NT 4.0 with Internet Explorer 5.0 and higher installed.

Defrag Manager fulfills its claims. Rather than focusing on lots of cool but—ultimately—useless bells and whistles, it does the simple things well. Thus, after an easy installation, you can use the MMC interface without having to refer to the manual.

It’s simple to create a defrag schedule, which has common properties that apply to a select group of workstation and server machines. These machines can be located using domains or via Active Directory and can be dragged and dropped into the schedule as needed. Each node to be defragged needs a license, and the product doesn’t distinguish between server and workstations for licensing purposes.

Once the scheduled defrags have run, you can review the pre- and post-defrag results for each node (see figure).

Since the review copy of the software was released, Winternals has added new functionality in the next version of the product, version 2.10. This version supports larger AD networks and enables remote defrag for machines that aren’t permanently connected to the network, such as laptops.

Winternals' Defrag Manager
Winternals’ Defrag Manager provides detailed pre- and post-defrag reports. (Click image to view larger version.)

Winternals’ Defrag Manager offers simplicity and functionality at its best and provides a worthy option for those knee-deep in fragmentation.

About the Author

Greg Neilson, MCSE+Internet, MCNE, PCLP, is a Contributing Editor for MCP Magazine and a Professional Development Manager for a large IT services firm in Australia. He’s the author of Lotus Domino Administration in a Nutshell (O’Reilly and Associates, ISBN 1565927176).

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