select * from table where column1 = "some awesome text here"
In this case we actually do a comparison between hashes of the data. Hashing is cheap, fast, and makes comparisons on the GPU's be a breeze. So long story short, we have no data dependent branching. We do this by never using certain statements inside of kernel code.
the use of "if" is expressly forbidden at blazing for any gpu code and it's use is punished viciously (said individual usually has to be the one that captures meaningful input from one the 80 log files of our 80 gpu cluster ).
Editing to mention the way you can encode a long string down to a 1 byte is by doing a dictionary compression and then bit packing the keys. On gpu the way you do this is getting the max key (min key is always 0) and then you can store this data in 1 byte (if max(key) < 255).