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Diskeeper 2009 Server/Administrator review

As servers and PCs get more powerful and their storage capacity grows exponentially is there really any need for defrag tools anymore? Diskeeper thinks so.

Price
£311

Tidy minded users ensure that their hard disks are kept in tip top condition by regularly defragmenting them and although Windows does have a utility for this, it's undeniably basic. Vista and Server 2008 have a slightly updated version that provides a scheduler but even this is well short on features. If you want more, then Diskeeper has a lot to offer, as it has maintained its podium position as the professional disk defragmenter of choice.

In this review we take a look at the Server and Administrator versions of Diskeeper 2009 to see what they can offer business environments. Diskeeper Administrator doesn't provide any defrag tools itself and is designed purely for remotely managing all installations of Diskeeper and looking after defrag schedules on multiple systems.

Diskeeper Administrator requires a SQL database to store client data and they can use an existing one or the bundled MSDE, which can be loaded during installation. It comprises two main components with a Windows service looking after schedules, logging, reporting and alerting information and a console that provides management access. Usefully, Administrator can be managed remotely using more than one console and supports multiple database instances as well.

The main Diskeeper Administrator console is a cheerful affair that provides easy access to all management features. The Getting Started page offers quick links to all main tasks and from here you can scan the network and gather your client systems into groups for easier management. You can select individuals systems or groups and deploy the various Diskeeper products to them using the PushInstall feature.

Deployment is straightforward as you select which Diskeeper products you want to install, point Administrator to the location for the software packages, and either run an immediate push or schedule the task for later. During this process you view the network tree and pick the groups and individual systems that are to receive the software.

All defrag tasks can be fully automated using policies and as long as your client systems have Diskeeper 2007 or 2009 loaded you can streamline this even further with the automatic defrag policy option. For legacy versions up to and including Diskeeper 10 you'll have to create specific policies for primary and secondary defrag actions.

Policies automatically run defrag jobs on all available volumes on each host system so you don't need to specify these although it would be nice to have the option to block some volumes if you wanted. During policy creation you can also apply a schedule that determines when jobs can or can't run and you can use these to suspend activities on specific dates.

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