Learn precisely what Data Compression is and see how it may affect your sites and the experience of your site visitors.
Data compression is the compacting of data by decreasing the number of bits that are stored or transmitted. Consequently, the compressed data needs substantially less disk space than the original one, so extra content could be stored on identical amount of space. You will find different compression algorithms that function in different ways and with many of them only the redundant bits are deleted, so once the info is uncompressed, there is no decrease in quality. Others erase excessive bits, but uncompressing the data later will result in lower quality in comparison with the original. Compressing and uncompressing content needs a significant amount of system resources, in particular CPU processing time, therefore each and every web hosting platform which employs compression in real time needs to have adequate power to support this attribute. An example how info can be compressed is to replace a binary code such as 111111 with 6x1 i.e. "remembering" how many sequential 1s or 0s there should be instead of keeping the whole code.
Data Compression in Shared Website Hosting
The ZFS file system that runs on our cloud hosting platform uses a compression algorithm called LZ4. The latter is significantly faster and better than any other algorithm on the market, 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. Due to the fact that the algorithm compresses data quite well and it does that very quickly, we are able to generate several backups of all the content kept in the shared website hosting accounts on our servers on a daily basis. Both your content and its backups will take reduced space and since both ZFS and LZ4 work very quickly, the backup generation will not influence the performance of the web servers where your content will be stored.