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distribution tape compression

    anyone know the relative tradeoffs of using compressed versus
    non-compressed files when writing dist tapes?

If you haven't done so, I suggest you read "Compressing Data - the
Compression Substrate".

My experience is that compression is useful when sending distributions
over email, simply to reduce the size of the file. Encoding the
distribution for mailing increases the size, so prior compression helps
to keep the pre-encoded size down.

Compression would also presumably be of use if you were trying to fit a
large distribution on a single tape that would not fit uncompressed.
Another nice feature of the compression substrate is that the
distribution system handles decompression automatically.

On the negative side, the compression and decompression is obviously
comsuming extra time, but I have not noticed a significant slowdown in
writing tapes. (I have not done any actual time comparisons.) As far as
problems due to data loss, I have not experienced any to date.

John Krieger (s9274@srl1.lanl.gov)
Westinghouse Savannah River Company