Microsoft white paper on Columnstore Indexes in SQL Server Denali

Here is a white paper by Microsoft describing how the new columnstore indexes in SQL Server 11 (codenamed Denali) can massively improve Data Warehouse query performance.

Microsoft mentions the main business benefit is to allow you to encourage your users to interactively explore the data, since results will be coming back near-instantaneously. As architects of BI systems, we can reduce or eliminate the need to build aggregate tables. We might not need OLAP, if the reason we were using OLAP was to achieve fast query performance, as is the case for many situations. This allows us to build highly performant BI systems more quickly and with less cost to the customer, with smaller ETL load windows.

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