07 Jan 2015 update: extending LZ4 description (thanks to Mikael Grev for a hint!)
This article will give you an overview of several general compression algorithm implementations performance. As it turned out, some of them could be used even when your CPU requirements are pretty strict.
In this article we will compare:
JDK GZIP – a slow algorithm with a good compression, which could be used for long term data compression. Implemented in JDK
java.util.zip.GZIPInputStream / GZIPOutputStream.
JDK deflate – another algorithm available in JDK (it is used for zip files). Unlike GZIP, you can set compression level for this algorithm, which allows you to trade compression time for the output file size. Available levels are 0 (store, no compression), 1 (fastest compression) to 9 (slowest compression). Implemented as
java.util.zip.DeflaterOutputStream / InflaterInputStream.
- Java implementation of LZ4 compression algorithm – this is the fastest algorithm in this article with a compression level a bit worse than the fastest deflate. I advice you to read the wikipedia article about this algorithm to understand its usage. It is distributed under a friendly Apache license 2.0.
- Snappy – a popular compressor developed in Google, which aims to be fast and provide relatively good compression. I have tested this implementation. It is also distributed under Apache license 2.0.