With the performance of modern computers improving at a rapid pace, database technology has problems with fully exploiting the benefits that each new hardware generation brings. This has caused a significant performance gap between general-purpose databases and specialized, application-optimized solutions for large-volume computation-intensive processing problems, as found in areas including information retrieval, scientific data management and decision support. This thesis attempts to enhance the state-of-the-art in architecture-conscious database research, both in the query execution layer as well as in the data storage layer, and in the way these work together. Thus, rather than focusing on an isolated problem or algorithm, the thesis presents a new database system architecture, realized in the MonetDB/X100 prototype, that combines a coherent set of new architecture-conscious techniques that are designed to work well together. The motivation for the new query execution layer comes from the analysis of the problems of two popular approaches to query processing: tuple-at-a-time operator pipelining, used in most existing systems, and column-at-a-time materializing operators, found in MonetDB. MonetDB/X100 proposes a new vectorized in-cache execution model, that exploits ideas from both approaches, and combines the scalability of the former with the high-performance bulk processing of the latter. This is achieved by modifying the traditional operator pipeline model to operate on cache-resident vectors of data using highly optimized primitive functions. Additionally, within this architecture, a set of hardware-conscious design and programming techniques is presented, enabling efficient execution of typical data processing tasks. The resulting query execution layer efficiently exploits modern super-scalar CPUs and cache-memory systems and achieves in-memory performance often one or two orders of magnitude higher than the existing approaches. In the storage area there are two hardware trends that significantly influence 219 220 Summary database performance. First, the imbalance between sequential disk bandwidth and random disk latency continuously increases. As a result, access methods that rely on random I/O become less attractive, making various forms of sequential access the preferred option. MonetDB/X100 follows this idea with ColumnBM – a bandwidth-optimized column store. Secondly, both disk bandwidth and latency improve significantly slower than the computing power of modern CPUs, especially with the advent of multi-core CPUs. ColumnBM introduces two techniques that address this issue. Lightweight in-cache compression allows trading some processor time for an increased perceived disk bandwidth. High decompression performance is achieved by applying the decompression on the RAMcache boundary, providing cache-resident data directly to the execution layer. Additionally, introduced family of compression methods provides performance an order of magnitude higher than previous solutions. Cooperative scans observe current system activity and dynamically schedule I/O operations to exploit overlapping demands of different queries. This allows to amortize the cost of disk access among multiple consumers, and also better utilize the available buffer space, providing much better performance with many concurrently executing queries. By combining the CPU-efficient processing with a bandwidth-optimized storage facility, MonetDB/X100 has been able to achieve its high in-memory raw query execution power also on huge disk-resident datasets. We evaluated its performance both on TPC-H decision support data sets as well as in the area of large-volume information retrieval (the Terabyte TREC task), where it successfully competed with the specialized solutions, both for in-memory and diskbased tasks.