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Compress Large Files in a Fast Manner

Posted on 2008-10-01
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Hi,

How can we compress a large file quicker. Right now the file size is like 15GB and will probably grow. Winrar takes hours. Is there any tools out there doing a better job?

thanks for your help
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Question by:ebi168
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8 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:ebi168
ID: 22620537
Add: compress fast but also ensures that it has good compression rate
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:mchkorg
ID: 22623392
Look, you can use:
winzip
winrar
winace
7zip
bzip2 (if unix/linux)
gzip (if unix/linux)
some others...

But no matter the one you choose, it's almost the same algorithm at the end.
You have to choose a compression/speed ratio and decide what you want : real smaller file or not ?
Example with winrar, in the options : "create default profile" and you choose something different from "best", it should be faster, bug a bigger file.
It also depends on your file content: text, raw data, something specific ? Some content will require more time(/techniques to be correctly compressed.

You can't just ask these tools to "do it faster".

By the way, maybe the idea would be to have something to cut your file into smaller pieces (1 GB parts). Thus, you might be able to multi-thread your process (depending on the disk speed/interface and so on.

If you want some help to decide: tell us what's this file, how it is generated and so on...

Regards
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Author Comment

by:ebi168
ID: 22626382
Hi this is just txt files with data rows in it, think about the export from a database table...
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Author Comment

by:ebi168
ID: 22626409
We want a high size compression (as the compressed file needs to be sent to outside network) while the faster the better. thanks
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LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
mchkorg earned 1000 total points
ID: 22632328
You can't get both :(

As it's a DB export, you should for example extract, let say, a 100 MB file from it and do some tests with several compression profile (from low to best).
Maybe using "best" is useless (two times the time for 2% better)
With some values from these real examples, you'll find the right solution for your needs.

If it's a DB export, you might also be able to generate it as multiple files (1 GB files ?) and see if some multi-threading compression (aka, start several winrar) can help. It depends on : hard disk interface / multiple disks / number of CPU/cores / memory etc.
Example : on a "common" computer, don't think about it, it's useless. On a real server (several SCSI disks using RAID), you might get 4 times faster by encoding 4 files. You "might".
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Author Comment

by:ebi168
ID: 22638351
mchkorg: thanks for the comment. let me do some research into it.
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Author Comment

by:ebi168
ID: 22638387
how about 8 duo core AMD processor, with SCSI and RAID controllers. So multithread appears the solution then.
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LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:mchkorg
mchkorg earned 1000 total points
ID: 22650643
Clearly,

1) Try to generate smaller files
2) Do some tests to find the best time/compression ratio with your compression tool
3) script it all :)


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