Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: AppNeta Blog, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Automic Blog

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).

@CloudExpo Stories
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Now that the world has connected “things,” we need to build these devices as truly intelligent in order to create instantaneous and precise results. This means you have to do as much of the processing at the point of entry as you can: at the edge. The killer use cases for IoT are becoming manifest through AI engines on edge devices. An autonomous car has this dual edge/cloud analytics model, producing precise, real-time results. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Eng...
Historically, some banking activities such as trading have been relying heavily on analytics and cutting edge algorithmic tools. The coming of age of powerful data analytics solutions combined with the development of intelligent algorithms have created new opportunities for financial institutions. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sebastien Meunier, Head of Digital for North America at Chappuis Halder & Co., will discuss how these tools can be leveraged to develop a lasting competitive advanta...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
There are 66 million network cameras capturing terabytes of data. How did factories in Japan improve physical security at the facilities and improve employee productivity? Edge Computing reduces possible kilobytes of data collected per second to only a few kilobytes of data transmitted to the public cloud every day. Data is aggregated and analyzed close to sensors so only intelligent results need to be transmitted to the cloud. Non-essential data is recycled to optimize storage.
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In their Live Hack” presentation at 17th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty and Paul Fletcher, Chief Security Evangelists at Alert Logic, provided the audience with a chance to see a live demonstration of the common tools cyber attackers use to attack cloud and traditional IT systems. This “Live Hack” used open source attack tools that are free and available for download by anybody. Attendees learned where to find and how to operate these tools for the purpose of testing their own IT infrastructure. The...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jared Parker, Director of Financial Services at Kinetica, will discuss how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich inf...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...