Monthly Archives: December 2010

SSDs – A Short Story

Many of you are aware that there is a relatively new kind of storage out there called a Solid State Disk.  Instead of spinning platters with moving heads, SSDs are flash memory chips.  Think of them as a super fast, large thumb drive.

There are 2 main kinds of SSDs, SLC and MLC.  They roughly define the difference between enterprise (SLC) and consumer (MLC), based on both performance and reliability (which of course means price!).  Then there are 2 main interfaces out there – a traditional SATA II/SATA III (just coming out these days) or one that plugs into the bus directly (PCI for desktop PCs and most Intel servers).  The ones that plug into the PIC bus are really only for businesses, as they are very expensive.  But by removing the SATA interface bottlenecks, they are unbelievably fast. Read the rest of this entry

OOW BI Imp Panel Questions #3: Can Exadata Replace a DW?

Click here for the first post in the series and here for the second.

Question #3: With the power of Exadata, are Data Warehouses even needed anymore?  Can’t you just map your BI tools to the transactional system without all of the back end ETL work?

Short Answer: For most systems a DW and ETL are necessary.  However a simple reporting system however can leverage this option for a while.

Long Answer: Data Warehouses started out as a means to offload processing of large data set queries from online transactional systems.  Basically breaking up the workload. Read the rest of this entry

OOW BI Imp Panel Questions #2: Can OBI do SubSecond Responses?

For the first post in this short series, see here.

I don’t think I answered this question properly during the panel; I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that I was sick as heck and my head was swimming.    But anyway here is a better shot at it:

Sidenote: I was so out of it that I spilled a bottle of water on my PC earlier during another presentation.  Luckily the computer stayed alive until I finished!

Question #2: Is it reasonable to expect sub-second response time from OBI?

Short Answer: Basically no, but once in a while yes Read the rest of this entry

OOW BI Imp Panel Questions #1: Is Essbase Mandatory?

At this year’s Oracle Open World in San Francisco, I sat on a BI Implementation Panel with three other experienced Data Warehouse and BI experts.  Stewart Bryson moderated the hour long session with Mark Rittman, Jon Mead and Kevin McGinley on a variety of topics.  I wanted to use this post to discuss a few of the questions in more detail.  Stewart threw some provocative, crowd pleasing questions out there, and phrased them in a very aggressive manner where a few of them quite frankly got me upset!  But that’s all good – I know Stewart and he wanted an exciting panel!

Question #1: With the tighter integration of Essbase into the OBI11g stack, should Essbase be considered mandatory on OBIEE implementations?

Short answer: Useful on some?  Yes.  Mandatory?  Not even close. Read the rest of this entry