Yes, database normalization is good

So InfoQ has collected a few blog posts which ask Data normalization, is it really that good?

Of course it's good, as long as you have requirements which dictate this optimization. If your application requires extremely fast writes, and this can happen in a heavy loaded OLTP system, then data normalization is your savior. If your application requires extremely fast reads, like OLAP systems, then of course data normalization is a killer.

These competing requirements are exactly why you have database systems optimized for either read or write. This is why large systems will maintain an operational system conforming to OLTP principles, and reporting systems conforming to OLAP principles.

Remember, traditional database systems are row oriented. This architecture is itself an optimization for OLTP and normalized data. Read mostly (or read only) systems can be column oriented, which organize the data on disk to optimize reads. For instance, Google's BigTable is an implementation of a column oriented database.
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