> I am very familiar with how modem compression, network compression,
> and file compression works.  When I was going through school, one of
> our projects was to write a compression algorythem and compress a
> file (yes, it was a text file) the best we could.  With my limited
> math background, I was only able to achieve compression down to 64%
> of the original size of that file.  Another person in the class was
> able to get 48% on the same file.  That was 16 years ago!
> The reason I brought up modem and network compression is that those
> two are streaming compressions.  They take small chunks of data and
> compress them.  Achieving at best 4:1 compression, but more like 2:1
> on average.  While this is not an ideal compression scheme for
> backups, it is something to build on.  At the same time, I just don't
> think that Dantz needs to put that much effort into it when there are
> companies out there that already do compression.
> I am surprised at the number of "Don't change the product at all"
> message this is generating.   I mean, why not have the option?
> Putting a 4 cylinder engine in that car will save gas, but I lose the
> speed of the V6.  Let's not give people the option of putting a 4
> cylinder engine in there.

There's another downside to all of this. Improving the compression ratio
with a tape drive, whether in hardware or software, means you're more
likely to break the streaming. If you're getting a 4:1 consistent
compression ratio then you have to feed data down the pipe at 4 times
the minimum streaming rate of the device. And intermittently breaking
the streaming could far outweigh any benefits of the extra compression.

It's a complicated area with no easy answers.

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