Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo

@CloudExpo: Article

A Cloud Computing Business Intelligence Organization

Moving data warehouses to the cloud

Data Warehousing As A Cloud Candidate
Over the past  year, we have started seeing greater support for Cloud from major vendors and Cloud is here to stay. The   bigger impact is that,  the path is clearly drawn for the enterprises to adopt Cloud.  With this in mind,  it is time to identify the potential for existing  data center applications  to be migrated to Cloud.

Most of the major IT majors predict a  HYBRID Delivery will be future,  where by the future enterprises needs to look  for a delivery model that comprises of certain work loads  on  Clouds  and some of them continue to be on data centers and then look for a model that will integrate  them together.

Before  we go further into  a  blue print of  How Data warehouses  fit  within a HYBRID Cloud environment, we  will see the salient features of  Data warehouses  and how the Cloud tenants  make them a  very viable work load to be  moved to Cloud.

A data warehouse  is a subject oriented, integrated, time variant and non volatile collection  of data in support of management's decision making process.

Data Warehousing  Usage

Cloud Tenant Value Proposition

ETL   (Extract, Cleaning, Transform, Load) process is  subject to variable patterns. Normally we may get large files over the week end or in night time to be processed and loaded.

It is better to  use the COMPUTE  resources on demand for the ETL as they require , rather than having a fixed capacity

OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) and related  processing needs for  MOLAP (Multi dimensional OLAP) and / or ROLAP (Relational OLAP) are highly compute intensive and requires stronger processing needs

High Performance Computing and ability to scale up on demand,   tenants of Cloud will be highly aligned to this need

Physical architecture needs are complex in a data warehousing environment.

  • MPP Servers (Massively Parallel Processing)
  • Shared Nothing Data Architecture
  • Mirrored Copies of Disk Space
  • High Availability Clustering

Most of the IaaS , PaaS offerings  like Azure platform, Amazon EC2 have built in  provisions for a highly available architecture, with most of the day to day administration  is  abstracted from the  enterprises.

The below are some of the advantages of SQL Azure Platform

  • No physical administration required - software installation and patching is included, as this is a platform as a service (PAAS)
  • High availability and fault tolerance are built in

Multiple Software and platform  needs,

  • Database Design Tools (STAR Schema Modeling)
  • ETL Tools
  • Data Cleansing Tools
  • OLAP Tools
  • Spatial Tools
  • Data Mining Tools
  • BI Reporting Tools

The product stack of  data warehousing  environment  is really huge and most organizations will normally find  it difficult to get into  a ideal list of software and platforms and tools  for their BI  platform. platform. SaaS for  applications like  data cleansing or address validation and PaaS for reporting like Microsoft SQL Azure reporting will be ideal to solve the tools and platform maze.

 

The following are the ideal steps for migrating  a  in-premise  data warehouse  system to a cloud platform, for the sake of case study , Microsoft  Windows Azure platform is chosen  as the target platform.

1. Create Initial Database / Allocate Storage / Migrate Data
The existing STAR Schema design  of the existing  data warehousing system can be migrated to  Cloud platform as it is.  And  migrating  to a  Relational database  platform like  SQL Azure should be straightforward. To migrate the data,   the initial  storage allocations of the existing  database on  the data center needs to be calculated and the same amount  Storage resources will be allocated on the Cloud.

You can store any amount of data, from kilobytes to terabytes, in SQL Azure. However, individual databases are limited to 10 GB in size. To create solutions that store more than 10 GB of data, you must partition large data sets across multiple databases and use parallel queries to access the data.

Once a high scalable database infrastructure is setup on SQL Azure platform , the following are some of the methods in which the data from the existing on-premise  data warehouses can be  moved to SQL Azure.

Traditional BCP Tool : BCP  is a command line utility that ships with Microsoft SQL Server. It bulk copies data between SQL Azure (or SQL Server) and a data file in a user-specified format. The bcp utility that ships with SQL Server 2008 R2 is fully supported by SQL Azure. You can use BCP to backup and restore your data on SQL Azure You can import large numbers of new rows into SQL Azure tables or export data out of tables into data files by using the bcp utility.

The following tools  are also useful, if you existing  Data warehouse is in  Sql Server within the data center.

You can transfer data to SQL Azure by using SQL Server 2008 Integration Services (SSIS). SQL Server 2008 R2 or later supports the Import and Export Data Wizard and bulk copy for the transfer of data between an instance of Microsoft SQL Server and SQL Azure.

SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA for Access v4.2) supports migrating your schema and data from Microsoft Access to SQL Azure.

2. Set Up ETL & Integration With Existing  On Premise Data Sources
After the initial load of the  data warehouse on Cloud,  it required to be continuously refreshed   with the operational data.  This process  needs to extract  data from different data sources (such as flat files, legacy databases, RDBMS, ERP, CRM and SCM application packages).

This process will also carry out necessary transformations such as joining of tables, sorting, applying  various filters.

The following are typical  options available in Sql Azure platform  to  build a  ETL platform between the On Premise and data warehouse hosted on cloud.  The tools mentioned above on the initial load of the data also holds good  for ETL tool, however they are not repeated  to avoid duplication.

SQL Azure Data Sync :

  • Cloud to cloud synchronization
  • Enterprise (on-premise) to cloud
  • Cloud to on-premise.
  • Bi-directional or sync-to-hub or sync-from-hub synchronization

The following diagram courtesy  of  Vendor will give a over view of how the SQL Azure Data Sync can be used for ETL purposes.

Integration provides common  Biztalk  Server integration capabilities (e.g. pipeline, transforms, adapters) on Windows Azure, using out-of-box integration patterns to accelerate and simplify development. It also delivers higher level business user enablement capabilities such as Business Activity Monitoring and Rules, as well as self-service trading partner community portal and provisioning of business-to-business pipelines.  The following diagram courtesy of the vendor shows how the  Windows Azure Appfabric Integration can be used as a ETL platform.

3. Create CUBES & Other Analytics  Structures
The multi dimensional nature of  OLAP requires a analytical engine to process the underlying data and create a multi dimensional view and  the success of OLAP has resulted in a large  number of vendors  offering OLAP servers using different architectures.

MLOAP :  A Proprietary multidimensional database with a aim on performance.

ROLAP :   Relational OLAP is a technology that provides sophisticated multidimensional analysis that is performed on open relational databases.  ROLAP can scale to  large data sets in the terabyte range.

HOLAP : Hybrid OLAP is an attempt to combine some of the features of MOLAP and ROLAP technology.

SQL Azure Database does not support all of the features and data types found in SQL Server. Analysis Services, Replication, and Service Broker are not currently provided as services on the Windows Azure platform.

At this time  there is no direct support for OLAP and CUBE processing on SQL Azure,  however with the HPC (High Performance Computing ) attributes  using multiple Worker roles,  manually  aggregation of the data can be achieved.

4. Generate Reports
Reporting consists of  analyzing the data  stored in the data warehouse in multiple dimensions and  generate standard reports for business intelligence and also generate ad-hoc reports.  These reports present data in graphical/tabular form and also provide statistical analysis features.  These reports should be rendered as Excel, PDF and other formats.

It is better to utilize the SaaS based or PaaS based reporting infrastructure rather than custom coding all the reports.

SQL Azure Reporting enables developers to enhance their applications by embedding cloud based reports on information stored in a SQL Azure database.  Developers can author reports using familiar SQL Server Reporting Services tools and then use these reports in their applications which may be on-premises or in the cloud.

SQL Azure Reporting  also currently can connect only to SQL Azure databases.

Summary
The above steps will provide a path to migrate   on premise  Data warehousing  applications to Cloud. As we needed lot of support from the  vendor in terms of IaaS, PaaS  and SaaS,   Microsoft Azure Platform is chosen as a platform to support the case study.  With several features  integrated as part of  this, Microsoft  Cloud Platform  positioned to be  one of the leading platform for BI on Cloud.

The following diagram  indicates a blue print of a  typical Cloud BI Organization on a Microsoft Azure Platform.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

Latest Stories
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
Everyone wants the rainbow - reduced IT costs, scalability, continuity, flexibility, manageability, and innovation. But in order to get to that collaboration rainbow, you need the cloud! In this presentation, we'll cover three areas: First - the rainbow of benefits from cloud collaboration. There are many different reasons why more and more companies and institutions are moving to the cloud. Benefits include: cost savings (reducing on-prem infrastructure, reducing data center foot print, redu...
The technologies behind big data and cloud computing are converging quickly, offering businesses new capabilities for fast, easy, wide-ranging access to data. However, to capitalize on the cost-efficiencies and time-to-value opportunities of analytics in the cloud, big data and cloud technologies must be integrated and managed properly. Pythian's Director of Big Data and Data Science, Danil Zburivsky will explore: The main technology components and best practices being deployed to take advantage...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Today, we have more data to manage than ever. We also have better algorithms that help us access our data faster. Cloud is the driving force behind many of the data warehouse advancements we have enjoyed in recent years. But what are the best practices for storing data in the cloud for machine learning and data science applications?
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busi...