SQL Server was the first enterprise database to include BI capabilities back in the SQL server 7.0 release when OLAP Services and Data Transformation Services were first introduced. Since that time, the BI subsystems in SQL Server have continued to evolve and mature, bringing what was once a niche technology into the mainstream.
With SQL Server 2016, Microsoft provides four major business intelligence subsystems: Analysis Services, Integration Services, Reporting Services and R Services. Analysis Services provides data warehousing capabilities as well tabular data analysis; Integration Services provides ETL (Extraction Transfer Load) load capabilities that are used to transfer data from OLTP databases to Analysis Services data warehouses, as well as to import and export data to and from external data platforms; Reporting Services surfaces data from both the SQL Server relational databases and Analysis Services databases to web and mobile reports; and R Services provides advanced data analytics, navigation and predictive modeling capabilities.
SQL Server 2016 also provides real-time data analysis capabilities with the ColumnStore Index. With subsystems like Analysis Services, data warehouses typically are loaded periodically from data that originates from OLTP applications. This means that the decision-making data is only as current as the last data loading process. The ColumnStore index enables real-time analytics by building in-memory columnar indexes over the relational database tables. Using these ColumnStore indexes enables business to use their real-time data and still get the query and reporting performance their users need.
Superdome X Maximizes BI Scalability
All of these BI technologies provide the best performance when the SQL Server instances have the required memory to support the different kinds of analysis. In order to get the required levels of performance and scalability, many companies split these subsystems into separate servers, resulting in increased costs and operational requirements and complexity.
The HPE Superdome X provides the required memory headroom and scalability to run all of the SQL Server BI subsystems on a single server and still deliver the required performance and simplifying operations. The Superdome X can be configured with up to 288 cores on the latest Xeon E7 v3 processors. Running with Windows Server 2012, the HPE Superdome X supports up to 4TB of RAM. Running with Windows Server 2016, the HPE Superdome X supports up to 12TB of RAM for an Windows Server 2016 operating instance and up to a maximum of 24TB of RAM for the overall system.
The HPE Superdome X utilizes unique nPAR hardware partitioning capabilities that allow it to be split into multiple logical systems, where each partition has complete electrical isolation from the other partitions. For the SQL Server 2016 Enterprise edition, Analysis Services, Integration Services and Reporting Services all support up to the operating system’s maximum RAM. Running Windows Server 2012, you could run all three of these BI subsystems simultaneously in the maximum 4TB configuration, and the HPE Superdome X enables you to create an execution environment that BI subsystems to run on a single server with highly scalable and preformatted configurations.
HPE and Microsoft are the underwriters of this article.