Hasso laid out a simple vision, even if the math makes it a bit complicated. He believes that an individual computing blade will soon have 8 CPUs with 16 cores each. Each of these blades will be able to hold up to 500GB of memory. With 10 blades, you would have 5 TBs and 1280 computing elements.
Using column store compression such as in BWA, raw transactions can be compressed by a fact of 10. This means that this 10 blade system can hold the equivalent of 50 TB of data. To put this in context, this is approximately the size of the printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress. Or, if I followed Hasso’s math, large enough to run the combined financials of 70 companies.
The column store compression makes querying the data fast, as well. Hasso re-demonstrated SAP BusinessObjects Explorer reinforcing accessing 1B records in less than a second. In a twist, he showed the analogous demo from within Microsoft Excel pointing out the limitation to the current non-accelerated version of Excel.
Will everything change? Only time will tell.