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William McKnight

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I will periodically be sharing my thoughts and observations on information management here in the blog. I am passionate about the effective creation, management and distribution of information for the benefit of company goals, and I'm thrilled to be a part of my clients' growth plans and connect what the industry provides to those goals. I have played many roles, but the perspective I come from is benefit to the end client. I hope the entries can be of some modest benefit to that goal. Please share your thoughts and input to the topics.

About the author >

William is the president of McKnight Consulting Group, a firm focused on delivering business value and solving business challenges utilizing proven, streamlined approaches in data warehousing, master data management and business intelligence, all with a focus on data quality and scalable architectures. William functions as strategist, information architect and program manager for complex, high-volume, full life-cycle implementations worldwide. William is a Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, a frequent best-practices judge, has authored hundreds of articles and white papers, and given hundreds of international keynotes and public seminars. His team's implementations from both IT and consultant positions have won Best Practices awards. He is a former IT Vice President of a Fortune company, a former software engineer, and holds an MBA. William is author of the book 90 Days to Success in Consulting. Contact William at wmcknight@mcknightcg.com.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in William's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

I have time to time brought in selective performance-enhancements into client situations. I even wrote a white paper about one of them, RightOrder. SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator has come in and out of my life several times. It’s an in-memory analytic engine that performs its queries in-memory. It actually has quite a broad base of deployment and is shipped as an appliance (HP or IBM with Linux) and I think it’s worthwhile to think about in selective situations. It’s a BI product for SAP NetWeaver. There are features of the product that add a lot of value, like the high compression, which is enabled by the column-wise ordering of the data, which I’ll discuss below.

There is also the horizontal partitioning across multiple machines which enables the solution to get beyond previous in-memory limitations. It’s optimized for various common data types and has different algorithms for different data types. I don’t know exactly how much of the query performance improvement comes from this, but I suspect it’s quite a bit. Architecturally, they put more memory in the cache – another performance improvement technique.

The column-wise ordering of data allows it to perform very high selective compression because all of a column’s values are physically together. It also provides for excellent performance when you select a small subset of the columns in a table since you do not perform I/O for data that is not needed. Column-orientation greatly assists a compression strategy due to the high potential for the existence of similar values in columns of adjacent rows in the table. It’s ideal for columnar functions like SUM, COUNT, MIN, MAX, and AVG.

So, the shoe fits here when you need a specialist data mart useful when the performance of limited-column queries, especially columnar functions, is the overriding selection factor.

Technorati tags: SAP, Netweaver, Business Intelligence

Posted May 9, 2007 5:06 PM
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