When evaluating database engines, there is a temptation to believe the hype of the terabyte-capable vendors--that performance is measured in speeds and feeds, that your database engine should be the fastest, the biggest, the latest and greatest. But before you sign that purchase order, you should give some thought to what high performance means to your organization.

For some, "high performance" is undoubtedly translated as a sub-second turnaround on a query. But what if you never had access to that information before? Isn't a five-minute turnaround on information that was previously unavailable also high performance if that information delivers business value?

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