Data transfer and storage optimization
To provide the best experience to the user, Zinstall has to efficiently manage vast amounts of data. This task can be separated into 3 parts:
- Avoiding redundant data before the migration
- Transferring needed data optimally
- Storing the data efficiently on the target PC
Avoiding redundant data
Every PC contains data that is not required for a successful migration. This does not contradict the "total migration" philosophy, which states that we should take everything on the system. When talking about redundant data, we are talking about known system files, which have nothing to do with the user. A good example of this would be the page file. On modern PCs, this file takes several GBs - as the amount of RAM on the PC. Of course, transferring it to the new system would be unnecessary - so Zinstall skips it altogether.
Once Zinstall determines which data should be transferred at all, it faces the challenge of transferring said data efficiently via the available channel - be it a network transfer or HDD transfer. Zinstall employs dynamic compression techniques, which provide up to 50% compression rates. This rates vary depending on the data transferred - archives and applications are usually hard to compress, and documents and pictures are better. So if you have mostly text and spreadsheets on your PC, the migration may be over faster than you expected.
Once the data reaches the target PC, it must be stored there in the best possible way. In case of bare metal migration, the best Zinstall can do is expand the old system to use all the available hard drive storage, so when you migrate from a 160GB system to a 1TB one, you can utilize all that extra storage right away.
When migrating to a new OS, however, the old system is stored in a Zinstall container. This container can then be compressed, and encrypted (optionally). This will further reduce the storage space used up by the old system. For most user, however, this is not really a problem - with the average upgrade rate being 3 years, the new PC usually has order of magnitude more storage than the old one.