What is a Data Warehouse, and why should you use one?

A data warehouse is where you store data from multiple data sources to be used for historical and
trend analysis reporting. It acts as a central repository for many subject areas and contains the
“single version of truth”. It is NOT to be used for OLTP applications.

What a Data Warehouse isn’t:

A data warehouse is not a copy of a source database with the name prefixed with “DW”.
It is not a copy of multiple tables (i.e. customer) from various sources systems unioned together in a view.
It is not a dumping ground for tables from various sources with not much design put into it.

Reasons to leverage the power of a Data Warehouse:

  • Reduce stress on production system
  • Optimized for read access, sequential disk scans
  • Integrate many sources of data
  • Keep historical records (no need to save hardcopy reports)
  • Restructure/rename tables and fields, model data
  • Protect against source system upgrades
  • Use Master Data Management, including hierarchies
  • No IT involvement needed for users to create reports
  • Improve data quality and plugs holes in source systems
  • Easy to create BI solutions on top of it (i.e. SSAS Cubes)
  • Restructure/rename tables and fields, model data

Data Warehouse Solutions Options

Hardware Solutions

Fast Track Data Warehouse – A reference configuration optimized for data warehousing. This saves an organization from having to commit resources to configure and build the server hardware. Fast Track Data Warehouse hardware is tested for data warehousing which eliminates guesswork and is designed to save you months of configuration, setup, testing and tuning. You just need to install the OS and SQL Server.

Appliances – Microsoft has made available SQL Server appliances (SMP and MPP) that allow customers to deploy data warehouse (DW), business intelligence (BI) and database consolidation solutions in a very short time, with all the components pre-configured and pre-optimized. These appliances include all the hardware, software and services for a complete, ready-to-run, out-of-the-box, high performance, energy-efficient solutions

Data Warehouse Advantages