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Home > SQL Server Questions > What is the use of SQL server table compression – MSDN TSQL forum

What is the use of SQL server table compression – MSDN TSQL forum


–> Question:

1. What is the use of the table compression?

2. When do we need to compress the table ?

3. If i compress the table what will be the performance impact?

 

–> My Answer:

1. What is the use of the table compression?
Reduction in DiskSpace as well as reduction in I/O happening across memory and CPU.

2. when do we need to compress the table ?
If your table column contains lot of wide character strings (char/varchar) columns, then you will get the best compression. Can go for Row/Page level compression, Page level has highest level of compression.

3. If i compress the table what will be the performance impact?
No, in most of the cases. But you will get good perf because of reduction in I/O, because many times I/O is the main culprit. CPUs being more powerful can compress/uncompress data within no time compared to the time taken by I/O.

 

–> Another Answer by Erland:

There are two levels of compression: ROW and PAGE. ROW is basically a different storage format, which gives a more compact format for most data profiles. Not the least if you have plenty of fixed-length columns that are often NULL. ROW compression has a fairly low CPU overhead. Since compression means that the data takes up less space, this means a scan of the full table will be faster. This is why you may gain performance.

Page compression is more aggressive and uses a dictionary. You can make a bigger gain in disk space, but the CPU overhead is fairly considerable, so it is less likely that you will make a net gain.

To find out how your system is affected, there is a stored procedure, of which I don’t recall the name right now, which can give you estimated space savings. But if you also want to see the performance effects, you will need to run a test with your workload.

There is also columnstore, which also is a form a compression, and which for data warehouses can give enormous performance gains.
 

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