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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!

In my last post, I talked about Microsoft's new, upcoming columnar offering, Apollo.   I said it was designed to take some pressure off the core DBMS to do it all and do it all fast.  That's doubly true for Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), the new MPP offering from Microsoft.  This is probably one of the last times you'll hear the word DataAllegro, but that technology, acquired in 2008 by Microsoft, is what PDW is based on.  MIcrosoft has spent the last 2 years replacing the core (Ingres) DBMS with SQL Server and the Linux/Java with Windows/C#.  PDW currently works on HP hardware and is in early release.

Microsoft is giving its users 2 major additional data storage options in Denali - columnar and MPP.  Microsoft is going down the path of functional parity between the core SMP offering and PDW, which is already integrated with the SQL BI stack.  It hopes to keep some of those SMP customers hitting its scalability limits in the Microsoft tent.

There is a lot of overlap in capabilities among SMP, columnar and MPP.  It's your job to sort through your workloads and make a plan.  I have found MPP much more advantageous the larger the data is and columnar useful for those high column selectivity workloads.

I'll be part of a virtual seminar focused on PDW on Tuesday.  I'll be talking about data consolidation strategies, a topic Microsoft is ready to take on with PDW.


As budgets languish, data growth balloons and business demand intensifies, BI and data warehousing professionals are under immense pressure to squeeze every last dollar of value from existing investments, while providing 24/7 access to mission-critical business information. That's the bad news.

The good news is you're invited to join renowned visionaries Bill Inmon (the father of data warehousing) and William McKnight (leading information management consultant), for our LIVE, interactive virtual seminar on November 16th (9:00 AM - 1:30 PM (EDT))  - designed to help you leverage next-generation data warehousing technologies for maximum gain.

Posted November 14, 2010 8:44 AM
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1 Comment

The main advantage is the ability to deliver the highest levels of performance when dealing with large amounts of data. The larger the data and the greater the SLA for query performance, the more MPP will shine. Therefore, it is predominantely used for data warehousing workloads. MPP architectures manage more 10 TB+ data warehouses than any other architecture. It's a large cluster with more I/O bandwidth than Cluster systems. MPP can have thousands of processors and the nodes can be shared-nothing (usually best) or shared-disk. The (fast, latest generation) interconnect is a "mesh" which gives the system the ability to move quickly within its processors.

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