Even though data storage has gotten inexpensive, data consumption grows at a faster rate than storage. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone ask for less storage space. Finding ways to reduce the amount of data is a key function in the life of an HPC administrator.

One way to conserve space is to compress data that is not used very often. Although you can do this on a file-by-file basis, a better way is to collect all of the data into a single directory and create a compressed filesystem image. SquashFS is probably the best tool for the job. It’s very easy to use and comes with virtually every Linux distribution out there. Give it a try; you won’t be disappointed.