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SSAS vs Database Sharding


SSAS vs Database Sharding

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WDT3
WDT3
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To all -

My company is upgrading to SS 2008 R2 as well as a new server and data=storage architecture. By end of the year we will be accessing roughly 4-5 terabytes of data with our reporting platform, which is also upgrading to SSRS. One contractor suggests that we not use SSAS as part of the solution, opting for database sharding for performance. However, I like SSAS.

Should SSAS be part of out solution?

Thanks,

WDT3
Lamprey13
Lamprey13
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4-5 TB, is pretty trivial for a year's worth of data. Any decently architected cube set (SSAS) should be just fine. I'm alwasy skeptical of the latest buzz word, so I'd be curious to know what that contractor means by Sharding. As far as I know SQL Server only offer partitioning, currently. And SQL Azure, offers sharding, but, I think, that is managed at the back-end and is not user controllable.
WDT3
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Lamprey3,

Thanks for your reply.

Sharding is a $2.50 word for distributing data into multiple databases based upon some sort of logic that improves reporting performance.

I have been researching SSAS recently and I like the product very much. I want to offer my users some carefully-controlled, ad-hoc reporting capability and I am thinking SSAS can help a lot.

I don't want to fail to make SSAS part of our final, reporting platorm simply because the contractor was not familar with SSAS or wants to be called every time we need new output.

WDT3
mike.rafferty 34744
mike.rafferty 34744
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Would this webinar on database sharding help?

http://vimeo.com/26742356

-Mike
TheSQLGuru
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WDT3 (8/29/2011)
To all -

My company is upgrading to SS 2008 R2 as well as a new server and data=storage architecture. By end of the year we will be accessing roughly 4-5 terabytes of data with our reporting platform, which is also upgrading to SSRS. One contractor suggests that we not use SSAS as part of the solution, opting for database sharding for performance. However, I like SSAS.

Should SSAS be part of out solution?

Thanks,

WDT3


You gave us essentially zero details on what the reports look like or the data they access/process, incremental data addition volumes, etc. We cannot provide advice without WAY more information from you.

Is the contractor suggesting non-SSAS solution because they don't have experience in that? Consider their motivation.

SQL Server 2012 columnar indexes may also be useful if you want to make a generational leap to that version.

Best,
Kevin G. Boles
SQL Server Consultant
SQL MVP 2007-2012
TheSQLGuru on googles mail service
WDT3
WDT3
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Kevin,

I didn't provide report details, because the reports have not yet been designed. We are collecting details on requirements now.

I was looking for general opinions from, hopefully, experienced SQL folks as to how well SSAS performs. I have experimented with the product using relatively small tables containing simulated data. I like the designer interface. The way things are built, in SSAS, seems to me to be very intuitive. If it perfoms reasonably well with large tables, it will be a viable solution.

Thanks anyway, for taking the time to respond.

WDT3
TheSQLGuru
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If you really need very large scale SSAS size/performance I would definitely stick with the newest edition of SQL Server you can move to. They have improved scalability and manageability significantly in the last few editions, and I think this continues in SQL 2012. Do note however, that much of the BI underpinnings is changing significantly in the latest version of the SQL Server ecosystem.

Best of luck with your project - sounds like fun! Drop me a line if you need some help with the relational engine side of things, or a second (NON-SSAS) pair of eyes. I couldn't SSAS my way out of a paper bag with both ends open, but I can make the relational engine spin like a top! Cool

Best,
Kevin G. Boles
SQL Server Consultant
SQL MVP 2007-2012
TheSQLGuru on googles mail service
WDT3
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Kevin,

Thanks so much. This is exactly the type of advice I need right now.

It is very likely that I will be needing some paid consultation on this. If you will send me your email address, we can connect outside of the forum.

My email is: btidwell3@comcast.net

Thanks,

WDT3
mike.rafferty 34744
mike.rafferty 34744
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Kevin here are a couple of great datatbase sharding videos from dbshards.com

http://vimeo.com/26742356

http://www.slideshare.net/rightscale/rightscale-webinar-scaling-your-database-in-the-cloud
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