Data Compression in 5.5

SimpleHelp 5.5 includes a change to the compression that we use to reduce the amount of data transferred in a session. I thought it would be interesting to share the results of this change, and what improvements you can expect in 5.5.

We are aware that bandwidth usage and session response times are incredibly important to our customers. The two are fundamentally linked - spending more time on compression reduces session performance, and vice versa.

As SimpleHelp always compresses and encrypts session data, our choice has always been to expend a “sensible” amount of computing resources and time to compress the data. In 5.5, we’ve changed the way we compress data with the following benefits:

  • Compression of the same data is faster in 5.5, compared to 5.4.
  • The resulting compressed size is smaller in 5.5, compared to 5.4.

In testing the improvements are easily seen when considering the frames per second changes. In the chart below we include figures for 5.4 and 5.5 at different colour depths:

Performance in 5.5 is greatly improved by the changes at all colour depths. These tests disable all caching and optimisations, so performance improvements within a session will be less pronounced.

Now lets consider the change in the amount of data sent:

The compressed size of messages in 5.5 is consistently smaller than in 5.4. This will improve performance on slower networks and will result in less time encrypting the data.