A few years ago I volunteered to work for the PASS Performance Virtual Chapter. It was an effort to help revive a group that was in the doldrums, and It’s also where I first got to know Ryan Adams. Later that year I met Ryan in person at SQL Rally in Dallas where we talked about an idea he had – to create a full day event of virtual sessions on SQL Server performance. Today, that event is known as the Performance Palooza. It was held for the 4th time in July earlier this year and has built a fantastic following, with nearly 2,800 attendees tuning in to the 8 sessions presented.
The Palooza is an event that personifies Ryan’s commitment to PASS and it’s values. The delivery of education on SQL Server related topics to so much of PASS’ membership, along with the people connections made around the world via these events, is the type of thing that has helped PASS grow and prosper. It’s volunteers like Ryan that make this happen, yet this is just one of Ryan many roles with PASS. He’s a user’s group board member, SQL Saturday organizer, a regional mentor, frequent speaker, and more.
This is why I’m voting for Ryan and encourage you to do so also. Ryan is running for the PASS Board of Directors and elections are upon us. Ryan does as much for PASS as anyone I know, and his straightforward manner, relentless involvement, and common sense approach will make him a great director. You can read more about Ryan on his candidate page. I have no doubt that Ryan will be a great addition to the board.
I’ve written a couple of blog posts this week on Tabular Models, and for a good reason. I’m presenting a session called Data Modeling Best Practices for Enterprise Tabular Models at the PASS Summit next week, so naturally it’s a topic that’s on my mind. But I’m also presenting another session on how to develop a Real-time Data Warehouse, so I decided that I should write a post on that topic too, since it’s also been on my mind.
Real-time DW Tenets
Instead of discussing the technology implementation and associated difficulties of loading a data warehouse in real-time, I thought I would start with the three tenets that I think everyone needs to consider before embarking on a project like this. Everyone develops a real-time solution differently based on their needs, technology, hardware, and other factors, but there are a few basic ideas to keep in mind no matter how you go about it.
Process only the data you must and nothing more. To meet the challenge of real-time, don’t do anything extra, and don’t touch any data you don’t have to touch. You always want to handle as little data as possible while still getting the job done.
Don’t impact the Source Systems. Contention with the source databases will almost certainly cause the real-time process to fail. Make sure your real-time processes don’t use resources that are needed by the applications that generate the source data. Try to be as invisible to them as possible.
Take advantage of what SQL Server does for you. SQL Server is a rich product with a great number of features and tools that can help you with this endeavor, so take advantage of them. In my session I discuss how Replication, CDC, SSIS and other tools can be used as part of the solution. Don’t write code you don’t have to write.
PASS Summit 2012
To see me build a functioning real-time data warehouse in real-time, come to my presentation at the PASS Summit on Friday, November 9. The session is at 9:45am and is title Real-Time Data Warehouse and Reporting Solutions.