Category Archives: Database

Microsoft names SQL Server 2012 launch date

Microsoft’s SQL Server 2012 will be officially launched on 7 March. More from All about Microsoft.

Microsoft Server and Tools chief Satya Nadella revealed last fall that SQL Server 2012 (codenamed “Denali”) would launch in the early part of 2012. Microsoft delivered the final public test build of SQL Server 2012 in November 2011.

The March 7 launch event topic list includes everything from big data, to StreamInsight complex event processing, to the new data-visualization and analysis tools that are part of the SQL Server 2012 release.

Disclosure: I work at Microsoft.

Microsoft Unveils Database Products at PASS Conference

Microsoft released the first community technology preview (CTP) for the next-generation version of SQL Server, codenamed Denali, Nov. 9. But that is just one of several announcements to come out of the PASS Summit 2010 conference in Seattle this week. In addition to unveiling Denali, Microsoft also announced the release of SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse and the new Critical Advantage Program, which offers an end-to-end suite of pretested hardware and software configurations, services and support.

“SQL Server code-named Denali will help empower organizations to be more agile in today’s competitive market,” the SQL Server Team touted on its blog. “Customers will be able to efficiently deliver mission-critical solutions through a highly scalable and available platform. Industry-leading tools will help developers quickly build innovative applications while data integration and management tools help deliver credible data reliably to the right users and new user experiences expand the reach of BI to enable meaningful insights.”

More on EWeek

SQL Server 2008 – from semi-relational to sublime

Microsoft has made much of the self-service Business Intelligence and integration with Office. In order to make best use of the BI features it is definitely worth upgrading to Office 2010, released to beta last week. A beta version is available for download here. Excel 2010 allows much better slicing and dicing of data, and through the SQL Server PowerPivot add-in for Excel that was known as Gemini, users can investigate data to reveal the information hidden therein.

The Report Builder is also much improved and looks much more like one of the Office 2010 family. It has become much easier to split out various components of a report: If you have a grid, a map and a logo in a report, these can be copied to a Report Part Gallery, effectively a library of elements that can be used time and time again.

A look at SQL Serrver 2008 R2 Preview.

The Flaws of the Classic Data Warehouse Architecture

This CDWA has served us well the last twenty years. In fact, up to five years ago we had good reasons to use this architecture. The state of database, ETL, and reporting technology did not really allow us to develop something else. All the tools were aimed at supporting the CDWA. But the question right now is: twenty years later, is this still the right architecture? Is this the best possible architecture we can come up with, especially if we consider the new demands and requirements, and if we look at new technologies available in the market? My answer would be no! To me, we are slowly reaching the end of an era. An era where the CDWA was king. It is time for change. This article is the first in a series on the flaws of the CDWA and on an alternative architecture, one that fits the needs and wishes of most organizations for (hopefully) the next twenty years. Let’s start by describing some of the CDWA flaws.

The first flaw is related to the concept of operational business intelligence. More and more, organizations show interest in supporting operational business intelligence. What this means is that the reports that the decision makers use have to include more up-to-date data. Refreshing the source data once a day is not enough for those users. Decision makers who are quite close to the business processes especially need 100% up-to-date data. But how do you do this? You don’t have to be a technological wizard to understand that, if data has to be copied four or five times from one data storage layer to another, to get from the production databases to the reports, doing this in just a few seconds will become close to impossible. We have to simplify the architecture to be able to support operational business intelligence. Bottom line, what it means is that we have to remove data storage layers and minimize the number of copy steps.

Great read from BEye Network. Part 1 and Part 2.

The Petabyte BI World – Wired

Sensors everywhere. Infinite storage. Clouds of processors. Our ability to capture, warehouse, and understand massive amounts of data is changing science, medicine, business, and technology. As our collection of facts and figures grows, so will the opportunity to find answers to fundamental questions. Because in the era of big data, more isn’t just more. More is different.

This month’s Wired magazine carries one of the most important growing concerns of the scientific community, the uncontrollable growth of data. This growth of data in many directions is nearly killing theories as everything is becoming more and more data controlled.

There are a series of articles ranging from what data miners are digging today to elaborate algorithms that predict air ticket prices to how we can monitor epidemics hour by hour.

If you are a BI entusiast or not, this month’s Wired cover story will challenge all your predictions about science and technology, even if you have a petabyte of data to support it !! Read it, like, right now !!

High-Performance dB and DWH Solution from Greenplum and Sun

From the Press Release -

Greenplum, a leading provider of database software for business intelligence, and Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA) today announced that Reliance Communications is using Greenplum Database, running on the Sun Data Warehouse Appliance, to power a range of applications, from legal and regulatory compliance to call detail record analysis.

Greenplum Database is the world’s fastest, most cost-effective solution for analyzing the massive amounts of information generated by surging worldwide usage of wireless and broadband services. The Data Warehouse Appliance powered by Sun and Greenplum is the industry’s first cost-effective, high-performance super-capacity data warehouse appliance. Purpose-built for high-performance, large-scale data warehousing, the solution integrates best-in-class database, server, and storage components into one easy-to-use, plug-and-play system.

“The Sun Data Warehouse Appliance running Greenplum Database is helping Reliance meet its goal of superior responsiveness in a challenging data environment — one that is characterized by rapid growth and increasing user demand,” said Raj Joshi, VP and Head (Decision Support Systems) at Reliance Communications Limited. “Deploying the joint Greenplum and Sun solution improved our response times and enabled Reliance Communications to improve our data management.”

Reliance Communications Limited is the telecommunications company of Reliance ADA Group which is one of India’s largest industrial groups. Reliance Communications is known for its innovative market offerings and practices. As Reliance has grown to more than 40 million subscribers, providing accurate and timely data support and analytics to all parts of the business has been a challenge. Turning an ad hoc request from historical records could take multiple hours; even loading a day’s worth of data into the system could take up to three hours.

Sybase and Sun create the World’s Largest Data Warehouse

One Petabyte of mixed relational and unstructure data. That’s neat.

More from the Sybase Press Release -

Sybase, Inc. (NYSE: SY), the largest enterprise software and services company exclusively focused on managing and mobilizing information, today announced that the Sybase® IQ analytics server has set a new Guinness World Record™ by powering the world’s largest data warehouse on a Sun™ SPARC® Enterprise M9000 server. This accomplishment was achieved using Sybase IQ, BMMsoft ServerSM and the Sun Microsystems® Data Warehouse Reference Architecture. This winning combination enables more data to be stored in less space, searched and analyzed in less time, while consuming 91 percent less energy and generating less heat and carbon dioxide than conventional solutions.

Powered by the category-leading column-oriented database Sybase IQ, the data warehouse is certified to support a record-breaking one petabyte of mixed relational and unstructured data—more than 34 times larger than the largest industry standard benchmark1 and twice the size of the largest commercial data warehouse known to date2. In total, the data warehouse contains six trillion rows of transactional data and more than 185 million content-searchable documents, such as emails, reports, spreadsheets and other multimedia objects.
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Designed from the ground up as an analytics server, Sybase IQ produces its impressive results because of a unique architecture combining a column-oriented data structure with patented indexing and a scalable grid. Sybase IQ offers extraordinarily high performance at a lower cost than a traditional, row-oriented database. And, unlike traditional row-based data warehouses, the stored data in Sybase IQ is compressed by up to 70 percent of its input size, creating the most optimal and elegant analytics solutions.

“The results of this benchmark showcase Sybase IQ’s capabilities to handle real-world scenarios, querying vast amounts of data representing the transactions processed across the worldwide financial trading networks over multiple years.” said Francois Raab, president, InfoSizing, the consulting firm that oversaw the benchmarking of the record. “Sybase IQ has proven its production strength in handling the volume of multimedia documents representative of the electronic communication between half a million financial traders.”

Vertica Moves BI Database to Amazon’s Cloud

Pay-as-you-go in the Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence space is getting some more traction as Vertica moves its technology to Amzon’s Elastic Compute Cloud infrastructure computing infra-structure.

Vertica’s database organizes data by columns, as opposed to rows. The company and others that make columnar databases, such as Sybase and ParAccel, contend the approach is faster and better for BI-related queries because only the desired columns — such as a customer’s name or location — can be read without having to parse through an entire table, saving bandwidth.

The company also sells the database for on-premises use and in appliance form.

It sees a market for the on-demand offering due to a number of scenarios. For example, a company might want to conduct a BI project that will only last a fixed period of time, such as revising its pricing based on competitive and market data, said Andy Ellicott, senior director of marketing.

Hedge funds, which test their trading algorithms against large sets of historical stock market data, are another potential use case, because while such entities manage vast amounts of money, they seek to maintain the lowest possible overhead, which a cloud-based approach can provide, he said.

SAS Unveils New Bundle Program with Teradata

“This new strategic partnership offers an exciting future for our mutual customers because they will benefit from the combined power of the leading BI and analytics provider and the leader in enterprise data warehousing,” said Mike Koehler, president and chief executive officer of Teradata. “Together, SAS and Teradata offer companies the ability to more effectively leverage their data as a strategic corporate asset for better, faster decision making throughout the enterprise. We clearly see the customer demand to optimize the processing and use of data throughout the enterprise.”

Customers are already communicating the value they see in the partnership and how the integration will help them achieve competitive advantages. For example:

“As a result of integrating SAS and Teradata technologies, we have reduced overall processing time to run our forecasting model from 36 hours to one hour and 15 minutes,” said Thomas Tileston, vice president of Business Decision Support for Warner Home Video.

“We are always seeking ways to increase our clinical analytics capabilities, which improve the delivery of healthcare for our clients and their membership,” said Mark Halloran, chief information officer, Medco Health Solutions Inc. “The ability to achieve a higher level of integration with both SAS and our Teradata platforms will provide both increased operational efficiencies and enhanced information analytics, which position Medco to better serve the needs of our clients.”

In addition, SAS and Teradata have created a Center of Excellence (COE). This dedicated joint team of solution architects and technical consultants will help customers achieve increased performance and capabilities from their current and future SAS and Teradata IT infrastructure. The two companies will also establish a joint executive-level customer advisory group for product feedback, future direction and determination of subsequent integration priorities.

Read more from the press release.

Data Warehousing and Appliance Model ?

Netezza co-founder Foster Hinshaw, who recently founded a new company Dataupia, talks about the new class of Data Warehouse Appliance.

Unlike existing appliances, Dataupia plugs right into or sights right underneath an organization’s existing RDBMS assets. As far as a DBA or data warehouse architect is concerned, Dataupia claims, it isn’t even there

From the Q & A Session with Foster -

Is that an advantage of the data warehouse appliance model, this ability to — I assume inexpensively, or comparatively inexpensively — host several years of data and make it available for rapid querying by users? Or is that more kind of an evolving status quo — sort of where data warehousing itself is heading?

I think it’s absolutely an advantage [of the data warehouse appliance]. Because of the affordability of our solution, it changes some of the things that you can do with your business and allows you to get more granular details, maybe more toward that one-to-one understanding of your customers. So you can tell historically over the last several holiday seasons what they’ve done for each holiday season, and that enables you to do really what you couldn’t do in the past.

As the users get on to the system, they’re doing types of queries [and] types of analytics they never thought about doing before. That’s what I love. When you see customers trying to do stuff and they say “Wow!”