Data compression has been around a while in SQL Server, being first introduced in SQL Server 2008, prior to this SQL Server 2005 supported a form of compression using a data type called Vardecimal. Vardecimal is a deprecated feature in SQL Server 2012 enabling this feature in new installations should be carefully considered. Data Compression is an Enterprise only feature.
The data compression feature of SQL Server is implemented on tables, partitions and indexes within a database and can be applied in one of three ways, ROW, PAGE or NONE. NONE being no compression specified; the default setting.
To read more please download the full Technical Paper below.