In SQL 2012 the xVelocity engine comes in two different flavors:

  • xVelocity in-memory analytics engine, also known as Vertipaq, is the in-memory engine that runs inside Analysis Services 2012 for Tabular models.
  • xVelocity memory optimized ColumnStore index, is the same technology implemented in the SQL Server engine, in the form of non-clustered columnar indexes

In this paper, we are interested in performing an investigation of the performance of the two technologies, comparing the performance of both in similar queries. Moreover, in the process of comparing the speed of both engines, we show some best practices about how to improve performance of both DAX and SQL, in the special scenario where you are using ColumnStore indexes.

It turns out that the two engine run at a comparable speed even if there are important differences that might lead you to choose one against the other in your specific implementation.