During the last two decades, the landscape of database management systems has changed immensely. Based on the fact that data are nowadays stored and managed in network of distributed servers (“clusters”) and these servers consist of cheap hardware (“commodity hardware”), data of previously unthinkable magnitude (“big data”) are produced, transferred, stored, modified, transformed, and in the end possibly deleted. This form of continuous change calls for flexible data structures and efficient distributed storage systems with both a high read and write throughput. In many novel applications, the conventional table-like (“relational”) data format may not the data structure of choice – for example, when easy exchange of data or fast retrieval ...

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