Recently i've started to play around with btrfs and also with those snapshot features. Since on this partition are just virtual machines and since btrfs is still under development i regularly make a backup of those images. This leads me to gzip. My usual solution for copying and instantly compressing images to another partition is done by:
dd if=/path/to/image | gzip -c > /path/to/backupfolder
Now the problem is: gzip is single threaded, which means it's slow, especially on a multicore system, like mine which has 8 cores.
Asking google i found a nice replacement for gzip, called pigz. The really cool thing is, it's syntax is exactly the same like for gzip which means i don't had to change my code, i just had to change the command.
The improvement is enormous: (a image with 2,9 GB, simple stopped with "time")
Really nice, isn't it? Now in combination with my backup scripts for my gentoo systems, it's a really neat upgrade.