Data compression is the compacting of information by lowering the number of bits which are stored or transmitted. In this way, the compressed data needs less disk space than the original one, so much more content might be stored on identical amount of space. There are different compression algorithms that work in different ways and with several of them only the redundant bits are removed, so once the information is uncompressed, there is no loss of quality. Others remove unneeded bits, but uncompressing the data later will result in lower quality in comparison with the original. Compressing and uncompressing content requires a significant amount of system resources, especially CPU processing time, so each and every hosting platform which uses compression in real time needs to have sufficient power to support this attribute. An example how data can be compressed is to substitute a binary code such as 111111 with 6x1 i.e. "remembering" what number of consecutive 1s or 0s there should be instead of keeping the actual code.
Data Compression in Cloud Website Hosting
The ZFS file system which is run on our cloud Internet hosting platform employs a compression algorithm identified as LZ4. The latter is considerably faster and better than any other algorithm you will find, especially for compressing and uncompressing non-binary data i.e. internet content. LZ4 even uncompresses data quicker than it is read from a hard disk drive, which improves the performance of sites hosted on ZFS-based platforms. Since the algorithm compresses data really well and it does that very fast, we're able to generate several backup copies of all the content stored in the cloud website hosting accounts on our servers daily. Both your content and its backups will need reduced space and since both ZFS and LZ4 work extremely fast, the backup generation will not influence the performance of the servers where your content will be kept.