History and trends are the two ways of storing collected data in Zabbix.
Whereas history keeps each collected value, trends keep averaged information on hourly basis and therefore are less resource-hungry.
You can set for how many days history will be kept:
Any older data will be removed by the housekeeper.
The general strong advice is to keep history for the smallest possible number of days and that way not to overload the database with lots of historical values.
Instead of keeping a long history, you can keep longer data of trends. For example, you could keep history for 14 days and trends for 5 years.
You can get a good idea of how much space is required by history versus trends data by referring to the database sizing page.
While keeping shorter history, you will still be able to review older data in graphs, as graphs will use trends values for displaying older data.
If history is set to '0', Zabbix will only be able to calculate triggers that check the last value. Historical values would not be stored in the database at all, except for the last value for the item itself.
Trends is a built-in historical data reduction mechanism where for every hour minimum, maximum and average values are stored, as well as the total number of values in that hour.
You can set for how many days trends will be kept:
Trends usually can be kept for much longer than history. Any older data will be removed by the housekeeper.
If trends are set to '0', Zabbix server does not calculate or store trends at all.