The great defrag debate. Defrag Domino or No

Last week, a windows server admin came to me wanting to defrag the hard drive on my main Domino mail server. I told him to hold off because I didn’t think it was a good idea. For one, early on in my Notes career (over a decade ago) I thought I remembered that defragmenting a Domino server was fraught with peril. I remembered horror stories of database corruption and the like. So basically, I’ve always avoided it. In fact, I have never in my career bothered to defragment a Domino server.

So that begs the question, am I right not to defrag?

I had brought this up on Twitter the other night, and the response I got was almost universally to NOT defrag, but one person I trusted said it was okay to do so. I had planned on blogging the question, but with my outage, I had forgotten. Well today on the hot blogs on PlanetLotus, Adam had some info on Defragging Domino databases themselves, for free nonetheless.

So, I’m going to throw the question out there, and I would really like as much feedback from folks as possible. Should we defrag Windows servers running Domino? Give me your good stories and your horror stories. I want to know what you all think? Can it cause corruption? Does it even help (since Domino will create fragmentation almost immediately again anyway.) Should you even bother defragging a drive the utilizes RAID5? I’ve seen heated arguments between Windows admins as to whether or not you should defrag RAID5, so who knows? And if you should defrag, what software should you use? And does anyone have any benchmark numbers? Did you see a 10% increase in speed after the defrag?

Come on admin folks, give me your best justifications and let’s put this to rest once and for all!