Technical Insight into Data Compression! How & Why

Reducing the overall size of the data file by compressing its contents is referred to as Data Compression. Since, backup is undoubtedly the most reliable way to safeguard data as it can be restored securely in the instance of data loss. In context to this, another theory that comes complimentary is ‘backup compression’. It is considered one of the best ways to save space on storage media, but its technical relevance is yet to be revealed.

Compression makes reduction in the volume of bits required to represent data and this further speed up the file transfer process and decreases network bandwidth. Data compression saves data to a more efficient format that can easily be stored. Data compression at storage system level is harmless; however, loss can be noticed in other areas such as video, image and audio contents.

Data compression is inevitably important as it removes or reduces redundancy to greater extent. It removes unnecessary and least important data components by reducing the bits and removing repeated patterns.

Backup Compression- Is it Out-dated or an Effective Practice?

Data Compression is a decade old approach that renews the way the data is stored on a large scale. The reasons that make data compression a scalable approach includes:

– its ability to store massive volume of data as required by modern data processing platforms;

– its capability to double the capacity of storage media as files are compressed to half of its actual size;

– data transmission across multiple communication channels becomes easier and efficient as compressed files are comparatively lighter than the original files; and

– last, but not the least it accelerates the data transmission rate as well as the ability of Communication channel to transfer data.

In small-scale to large enterprises as well as on a personal level, data compression is used in a number of different ways, based on the nature of content. Various types include image compression, video compression, audio compression and basic data compression.

How Compression Differs from De-duplication & Encryption?

Compression and Data de-duplication are quite similar techniques that reduce the size of the file by compressing data and removing the existing redundancy. However, encryption is a completely different approach discussed in the upcoming sections.

What is Data De-duplication?

Data de-duplication also referred to as single- instance storage or intelligent compression is a process that ensures that only one instance of content is stored on the storage media and this is done by removing redundant copies of data (files). Data blocks that are redundant get replaced with a pointer.

Deduplication generally provides more refined results as it removes the redundant segment of files.

What is Encryption?

Unlike compression and deduplication that intends to reduce the size of data and files respectively, encryption works towards making data secure. Encryption is a technique to safeguard data against unauthorized access and among the most popular ways to protect data in small and large enterprises.

Even if the files containing crucial business information are hacked or stolen, the data stored within remains secure if encrypted. Mathematical algorithms are used with a unique key that encodes a file into an unreadable format. In simple words, encryption converts data to coded language which can only be decrypted using valid decryption key.

It is important to make note that if the encryption key is lost, it is nearly impossible to decrypt data.

Isn’t it beneficial to store data in such a format that saves it in less storage space than usual? Compressed files saves valuable space on the storage media as several files such as word files can be compressed to around 90% of its original volume.

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