WAN Optimization Compression
Compression is the technique of reducing data size in order to save space or the time of transmission. Data compression or source coding is the process where information is encoded using unique encoding strategies that utilize fewer bits or other information-carrying units. Compression is an efficient method that aids in reduction of disk space usage, bandwidth for transmission, and other resources. While sending and receiving information through the Wide Area Network (WAN) large text files are transmitted in a zip, gzip, rar, or other compressed formats. In the case of data transmissions, Compression can be performed on the data content or on the transmission unit as a whole, which includes header data and other such details. However, a lot of other determining factors influence the data transmission type.
Data transmission and data storage are the major areas of application where Data compression methods are widely used. Data processing applications need to store voluminous data, and this requirement is seen to be constantly increasing. Data transmission over WAN links is becoming more pronounced in the current technology scenario and compressed data substantially helps in storage of data and curtailing communication costs through increasing the transmission capacity. As a result, it is possible for storing data a much faster and higher storage level, while reducing the load of the communication system.
Data communications using compression techniques necessitate the sender and receiver of the compressed information to be acquainted well with encoding and decoding procedures. In order to use the compressed data that is transmitted, decompression must be done, which oftentimes becomes detrimental to certain applications. As storage requirements are higher for video and image files, compressing it would demand advanced hardware. Data compression strategies compromise on factors such as the level of compression, distortion present in lossy compression, and resources that are required for data compression and decompression.
In Content Compression, the process involves removal of all extra space character, denoting a string of recurrent characters through insertion of a single repeat character. While compressing content, the characters that occur often are substituted with smaller bit strings. Following these techniques, the text file can be reduced as much as 50% of its original size. Compression is done by a program that runs on a formula or algorithm, which is used for determining the method for data compression or decompression.
Information can be compressed to the maximum extent using graphic image file formats. Graphic image compression is categorized as Lossy compression and Lossless compression. While there is the possibility of permanently losing some information in lossy compression, with lossless compression all information can be restored. Lossless data compression is used when there is the need for the data to be exact when decompressed. Text files that cannot afford to lose out a single character apply this technique. Lossless data compression methods are also applied for archiving and storing images, video/audio, and other major sources. Lossy compression on the other hand, does not focus on yielding the exact data, rather tries to give the uncompressed data in an acceptable average quality.
Among the types of Compression that is used on Computer systems and hard disk, the major three types are: Utility-based Compression, Operating System File Compression, and Volume Compression. The other Compression methods other than data compression include Audio compression, Video compression, File compression, and other forms pertaining to usage.