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As operational database schemas become complex, users resort to denormalization to handle performance issues. This includes a range of techniques from materialized views to using MySQL as a key-value store for blobs containing full objects. While denormalization solves immediate bottlenecks, it comes at a hefty price. In this presentation Ari will explore common denormalization approaches and tradeoffs using real world examples. He will then present a solution under development at Akiban Technologies to alleviate these same problems much more efficiently, and allow users to get the best of both worlds.