Storage system performance is dependent on many factors, one of which is a properly aligned partitioning scheme. Misaligned partitions cause a significant reduction in the I/O performance of a disk drive through redundant read/write operations and a subsequent reduction in an SSD lifespan by as much as one-third. The introduction of 4K sectors in the latest disk drives creates even more alignment problems for a large proportion of IT administrators. Implementation of enterprise virtual environments and the use of different RAID technologies are also susceptible to misalignment. In most cases, a mismatch between actual physical and logical representations of data causes a significant decay in overall system performance and hardware longevity.
What is Partition Alignment?
A hard drive can be dissected into different sections or partitions for many reasons – such as to segment data or because an operating system typically sits on one partition while applications and files sit on others. These partitions are positioned on the hard drive to optimize the way data is read and written to them. With new hard drives that rely on a different sector base than legacy drives, computers may not be able to recognize this change, effectively reducing the performance of hard drives and in some cases decreasing the lifespan of the drives dramatically.
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