Data compression is the compacting of data by decreasing the number of bits which are stored or transmitted. As a result, the compressed information will require considerably less disk space than the initial one, so a lot more content might be stored using the same amount of space. You'll find many different compression algorithms which work in different ways and with many of them just the redundant bits are removed, which means that once the data is uncompressed, there is no decrease in quality. Others delete unnecessary bits, but uncompressing the data later will lead to reduced quality compared to the original. Compressing and uncompressing content needs a significant amount of system resources, in particular CPU processing time, so every web hosting platform that employs compression in real time must have adequate power to support this feature. An example how data can be compressed is to substitute a binary code such as 111111 with 6x1 i.e. "remembering" the number of consecutive 1s or 0s there should be instead of keeping the entire code.
Data Compression in Hosting
The ZFS file system which operates on our cloud web hosting platform uses a compression algorithm identified as LZ4. The latter is a lot faster and better than any other algorithm you can find, particularly for compressing and uncompressing non-binary data i.e. web content. LZ4 even uncompresses data quicker than it is read from a hard disk drive, which improves the overall performance of Internet sites hosted on ZFS-based platforms. Because the algorithm compresses data quite well and it does that very quickly, we are able to generate several backup copies of all the content kept in the hosting accounts on our servers daily. Both your content and its backups will take less space and since both ZFS and LZ4 work very fast, the backup generation will not affect the performance of the hosting servers where your content will be kept.
Data Compression in Semi-dedicated Servers
Your semi-dedicated server account will be created on a cloud platform that runs on the state-of-the-art ZFS file system. The latter uses a compression algorithm named LZ4, which is a lot better than all the other algorithms in terms of compression ratio and speed. The gain is apparent especially when data is being uncompressed and not only is LZ4 much quicker than other algorithms, but it is also quicker in uncompressing data than a system is in reading from a hard disk drive. This is the reason why Internet sites running on a platform which employs LZ4 compression perform better as the algorithm is most effective when it processes compressible data i.e. site content. A further advantage of using LZ4 is that the backup copies of the semi-dedicated accounts that we keep require less space and they're generated a lot faster, which enables us to store multiple daily backups of your files and databases.