Is ZSTD a better Backup Compression than GZIP?

January 29, 2023 By Martin 0

Backup File Compression

Backup file compression is a process of reducing the size of data files. It can be done using a variety of algorithms, such as gzip or zstandard (ZSTD). This type of data compression aims to reduce the size of backup files, making them easier to store and transfer. Compression algorithms are used to create compressed files smaller than their original versions but still contain all the same information. By default, the compressed file name is usually the same as the original but with a “.gz” or “.zst” extension added at the end. Backup file compression is essential in ensuring effective storage and transfer of large amounts of data, as it reduces their size without sacrificing data integrity.


The Zstandard algorithm for compression

The Zstandard algorithm for compression is an open-source real-time data compression algorithm that can compress and decompress a wide variety of data intelligently. It is designed to use fewer CPU cycles and memory than existing algorithms while still providing a high level of compression. The default settings are optimized for maximum compression while allowing the user to customize their backup size. Compared to other algorithms, such as Gzip or LZ4, Zstandard offers greater flexibility regarding how much data can be compressed with a minimal performance impact. As a result, it is becoming increasingly popular amongst users who need to back up large amounts of data but don’t want the performance burden associated with more traditional compression methods. 

Why is ZSTD so good?

Zstd is an incredibly powerful data compression algorithm that offers many benefits. It is extremely fast and provides excellent compression ratios, often exceeding those of other popular algorithms such as gzip. Furthermore, Zstd offers high flexibility and scalability, allowing users to adjust their desired speed and compression level. Additionally, ZSTD can compress data in multiple threads simultaneously to reduce the time required to complete the task. As a result, organizations and individuals quickly recognise the advantages of using this technology, especially when dealing with large datasets. In conclusion, ZSTD is great for maximising efficiency while compressing data.


Is ZSTD better than gzip?

Whether ZSTD is better than gzip depends on the compressed data type and the desired compression level. ZSTD offers higher compression efficiency than gzip in most cases, meaning it can reduce file sizes more than gzip while still maintaining high quality. Additionally, ZSTD is faster than gzip at compressing and decompressing data, making it more efficient when working with larger files. On the other hand, gzip has been around longer and has more comprehensive support among software programs, making it a more reliable choice for compatibility purposes. Ultimately, the decision between ZSTD and gzip will come down to which features are deemed most important; for example, someone who needs an especially small file size might prefer ZSTD, whereas someone who values compatibility might choose to gzip.

How does Zstandard compression work?


ZSTD is a lossless data-reduction system with multiple versions in various programming languages. People can tap into adjustable in-memory compression and decompression procedures to fulfil their compression requirements.

If you’re running a Linux operating system, you’ll need to get the program before being able to compress or decompress data. Although the internal mechanism and technology may be dissimilar from other compressors, the usage of ZSTD is analogous to that of other compression programs.

When you are using ZSTD compression, it won’t automatically delete the original files once you have compressed them. To do so, you must specify the –rm flag while compressing files.

Zstandard gives you the option to select the compression rate you want. A value between 1 and 19 should be included, preceded by a “–”. If you don’t specify a compression rate, the algorithm will use 3 as its default setting.


You could enhance your compression instruction even further by changing the compression ratio. Usually, the rate of compression is based on the degree of compression. The default rate is 1, and larger numbers will let you compress more quicker.

Rather than settling for the regular ZST compression. You can opt for your desired format using the –format flag. This flag allows you to pick from ZSTD, lz4, and gzip formats.

For file decompression, zstandard offers two choices. You could go with the unzstd command or utilize the –d flag with the ZSTD command to decompress your files.

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