Part 4: SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse – Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

Read Part 1

Read Part 2

Read Part 3

I was going to keep this series to three parts but the announcement this month by Microsoft of the upcoming next iteration of its Parallel Data Warehouse-based offerings. The Parallel Data Warehouse-based systems have been re-branded as Analytic Platform Systems, and the next set of offerings will include an optional HDInsights component (Microsoft’s Windows-based Hadoop offering based on HortonWorks Data Platform). Quanta, which I had never heard of before listening in to the announcement is added as a PDW-based system provider in addition to HP and Dell, though apparently their offering can only be sold in the US and China. Though it looks like the basic architecture of the solutions will not change in V3 beyond the HDInsight addition, I assume some HW updates are possible e.g. processor updates.

My main thought on the major part of this announcement, the HDInsights addition, is that adding Hadoop will not address the shortfalls of PDW as a high-end warehousing solution. It is certainly a nice checkbox to check off, but customers evaluating different solutions should not be blinded by a hadoop bolt-on. Also, HDInsights first became generally available at the end of 2013, so the maturity of this piece is also somewhat in question – I see it limited to use as a “warm archive” for warehouse data.



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