When free resources are initially allocated to files in a Veritas file system, they are aligned in the most efficient order possible to provide optimal performance. On an active file system, the original order is lost over time as files are created, removed, or resized. As space is allocated and deallocated from files, the available free space becomes broken into fragments. This means that space must be assigned to files in smaller and smaller extents. This process is known as fragmentation. Fragmentation leads to degraded performance and availability. The degree of fragmentation depends on file system usage and activity.