When and why to use SQL Server’s backup compression feature?

One of the very cool features of SQL 2008 is backup compression. More over from SQL 2008 R2 editions, it is not an Enterprise only feature. Hence I highly recommend using this feature at every possible instance unless you already have authorized third party software for this purpose.

Reasons I prefer to use backup compression are broadly classified as below:

  1. Backup compression really can compress backup file’s size a lot. This can be a huge cost savings and make your life easy for space management. (I get upto 90% compression ratio for some simple databases which contains simple datatypes as varchar, int etc)
  2. Typically compressed backup are faster to execute too for less IO operation. This saves a lot of time for backup or restores operations which can be a life saver.
  3. As anyway you can not restore a SQL 2008 backup to an older version, you should not worry about compatibility of a compressed backup. (Special case like if you need to restore your SQL 2008 Enterprise Edition’s backup to an Express Edition can be always treated as exception)
  4. Using this native technology frees your company from the cost of third party solution’s license. This can be a direct money savings from your company’s budget.

To conclude, I strongly recommend to altar your backup plans to use backup compression wherever it is possible. This will not only save money but will also enable you and your environment to achieve better manageability with superior performance.