Thomas.I Microsoft BI & Analytics

A Site Dedicated to General BI Issues and MS BI Issues: Architecture and Technology

Reflections on the new version of the SSAS Performance Guide

Posted by thomasivarssonmalmo on October 14, 2011

It is here and you should read it. I know about the real world scenarios of fixed price projects and set up something that is good enough. In your own professional struggle to learn about SSAS internals and design trade offs I would recommend any BI professional to read it. Even if you do not build Terabyte cubes like the SQL Cat Team does the recommendations in this white paper are important for all SSAS implementations.

In the SSAS 2008 R2 version I like the following.

It is well written and clear and not trying to force a lot of of abstract technical babble into your mind. It is actually the best Performance Guide I have read. The hard core geek stuff is instead in the SSAS Operations Guide . That is also an important part but by separating design and operations guide lines we have two more focused parts on SSAS development.

The most important line is this: “Achieving a balance between user freedom and scalable design will determine the succes of a cube”. Too much freedom and you will have cubes that do not work from a performance objective and too much performance requirements will make your users unhappy.

The dimension design part have improved a lot. Read all of that because it is about the design issues I meet daily. The graphics for the many design choices you will have to make are very valuable additions to this white paper.

What I would like to see in a future release is a specific document about MDX performance considerations. It is part of this document but the topics regarding MDX are numerous and it is impossible to give answers to that in this document.

Nice work SQL CAT and the reviewers.

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