Column-Stores vs. RowStores: How Different Are They Really?

There has been a significant amount of excitement and recent work on column-oriented database systems (“Column-stores”). These database systems have been shown to perform more than an order of magnitude better than traditional row-oriented database systems (“Row-stores”) on analytical workloads such as those found in data warehouses, decision support, and business intelligence applications. The elevator pitch behind this performance difference is straightforward: column-stores are more I/O efficient for read-only queries since they only have to read from disk (or from memory) those attributes accessed by a query.

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Association for Computing Machinery
Data Management