Data Management

Database Architecture Optimized for the New Bottleneck: Memory Access

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Executive Summary

In the past decade, advances in speed of commodity CPUs have far out-paced advances in memory latency. Main-memory access is therefore increasingly a performance bottleneck for many computer applications, including database systems. In this paper, the authors use a simple scan test to show the severe impact of this bottleneck. The insights gained are translated into guidelines for database architecture; in terms of both data structures and algorithms. They discuss how vertically fragmented data structures optimize cache performance on sequential data access.

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