I have a MySQL database which is about a GB so far, and is growing rapidly. Is there a DB, or anything I can do to the MySQL database as far as formatting, to conserve more space. CPU really isn't an issue, so even if a method to save space requires more CPU, its not a problem. I noticed when creating tables, there are options like MyISAM, InnoDB, MEMORY, HEAP, etc; do any of these take up less space than others?
I did some research and found that the ARCHIVE format is best for space conservation, but my inputs are just characters ranging from 8-32 characters (CHAR and VARCHAR formats) without spaces, and would compressing really do anything for this format of data?
The latest version of DB2 (version 9.1, nicknamed "Viper") probably is the most space efficient relational DB; it supposedly has very sophisticated row level compression features that can compress tables by 45-75%.
For MySQL the default table type is MyISAM unless you specify otherwise, and it's the most compact disk-based storage engine. There is a separate utility available for doing column level compression on MyISAM tables called myisampack. There a lot of caveats with using it however (such as compressed tables becoming read only and restrictions on compressable data types), so I suggest you do some research on it. The use cases for it are pretty limited.