Tag: fragmentation

In computer storage, fragmentation is a phenomenon in which storage space is used inefficiently, reducing capacity and often performance. Fragmentation leads to storage space being “wasted”, and the term also refers to the wasted space itself.
There are three different but related forms of fragmentation: external fragmentation, internal fragmentation, and data fragmentation, which can be present in isolation or conjunction. Fragmentation is often accepted in return for improvements in speed or simplicity.
When a computer program requests blocks of memory from the computer system, the blocks are allocated in chunks. When the computer program is finished with a chunk, it can free the chunk back to the computer. The size and the amount of time a chunk is held by a program varies. During its lifespan, a computer program can request and free many chunks of memory.
When a program is started, the free memory areas are long and contiguous. Over time and with use, the long contiguous regions…