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This paper contrasts row-oriented database systems with column-oriented database systems and elaborates on the benefits of the columnar approach. A review of how data access latency across the different levels of the memory hierarchy can affect application performance sheds some light on the benefits of the column-oriented approach and suggests a number of drivers for increasing analytical application performance, particularly by means of exploiting parallelism. Finally, the paper suggests some factors guiding the evaluation process when considering a columnar system.
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