I have a test environment for an application. From time to time I take the database to my local development environment.
A smaller backup means less network latency and a faster local reproduction scenario.
Since 2008 Microsoft SQL Server comes with a feature called backup compression.
I gave it a try and so I ran the two following statements in competition:
BACKUP DATABASE [XXX] TO DISK = N'D:\DATA\SQL\BACKUP\Uncompressed.bak' WITH COPY_ONLY, NOFORMAT, NOINIT, NAME = N'Full Database Backup', SKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD, STATS = 10 GO
BACKUP DATABASE [XXX] TO DISK = N'D:\DATA\SQL\BACKUP\Compressed.bak' WITH COPY_ONLY, FORMAT, INIT, NAME = N'Full Database Backup', SKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD, COMPRESSION, STATS = 10 GO
Here are the results: