Storage Focus: File System Fragmentation
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Overview: The author defines file system fragmentation as any access to any data that is expected to be sequential on the device but is not. As file systems have continued to grow in size, fragmentation has become an increasingly important issue. Some file systems like NTFS and others have defragmenters that defragment the data space and sometimes the metadata space. The performance degradation caused by fragmentation does not generally happen immediately, but is rather slow and happens over time, making it even more difficult to diagnose.