June 4, 2011, 4:15 p.m.
posted by redstink
Most of us find it more fun to think about designing and developing, than operating and maintaining. But there’s no point in undertaking the design activities if you’re not confident your system can operate smoothly, efficiently, and with good performance. And it’s important to think about these issues early, during the design and development phases of the system. Good operating procedures are cooked into the system, not tacked on at the end.
This chapter talks about two kinds of operational procedures: front-room operations and back-room operations. Front-room operations, from maintaining the BI portal to extending BI applications and educating users, requires a continuing commitment to meeting the needs of the business. It requires a significant number of ongoing staff, usually as many, if not more, as were involved with the initial development of the front-room systems.
Most of the chapter was devoted to a discussion of back-room operations. We described how to schedule and execute Integration Services packages in a production environment. We introduced some of the issues you will need to consider in order to meet availability and performance SLAs. And we discussed the most important factors to consider when tuning your DW/BI system for excellent performance.
One of the key levers for tuning the Analysis Services database is to partition the data, which improves query performance, processing performance, and manageability. Partitioning of the relational fact table is also valuable, sometimes for performance but most often for manageability. Partitioning doesn’t come for free, however. Adding partitioning to your DW/BI system complicates the operating procedures.
The last section of this chapter discusses issues around backing up and restoring your databases and other components of your system. We’ll take one last opportunity to remind you to take backup and recovery seriously, or don’t do it at all.