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Building an OLAP Farm in the Cloud with Azure Virtual Machines – Part 1

The “OLAP Farm” is an Analysis Services architecture that makes use of remote partitions on the backend and linked dimensions and measure groups on the front end in order to support solutions where datasets and latency requirements simply can’t be handled by a single processing server. It was discussed in […]

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SSAS Scale-Out Architectures

Processing can be a very resource intensive task which will absolutely interfere with query performance when using a single server deployment. Most clients can get around this issue by simply processing after hours and/or designing and implementing a complex incremental processing scenario (e.g. process add + process partitions). However, when […]

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Case Study Review: Using Tabular Models in a Large-scale Commercial Solution

Just a few days ago, a case study was released by one of the top Microsoft BI folks in the world – Alberto Ferrari (b | t) – outlining the evaluation process of using SSAS Tabular in a large-scale commercial solution. This paper is a must-read for those considering the […]

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MDX: MemberValue vs Member_Value

Lately I’ve been doing a bit of MDX performance tuning and during the process I learned a new “trick” that blew my mind. Instead of just outright telling you what it is, I’d like to show you through an example. Original Query Take the following query shown below – which […]

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Relationship Between Statistics and Probability

As part of my plan for edging over to the field of predictive analytics and data mining, I’ve been brushing up on some statistics via Coursera and Udacity classes. In one of the Udacity classes (Intro to Statistics), the professor (Sebastian Thrun) presented the relationship between statistics and probability as […]

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Data Mining and Predictive Analytics Learning Plan

In the last post, I mentioned that I would be putting together a learning plan to facilitate a shift in focus from SSAS into the realm of data mining and predictive analytics. Clearly this is not going to be a quick and easy journey – but I think it is […]

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Why I spent > $2000 to attend the PASS Business Analytics Conference

…and was it worth it? Aside from the fact that I’m an independent consultant – which by definition means I no longer have a company shelling out the cheddar to send me to events like this – I’d like to discuss the reasons why I decided to spend over $2k […]

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SQL Saturday #285 Atlanta

Quick ‘thank you’ to all those dedicated lovers of SSAS tabular who attended my session – 20 Minute Tabular Model – at 8:15am at SQL Saturday #285. The slides were posted to the SQL Saturday site shortly after the presentation. And here’s the link again to the references page for […]

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OLAP Query Log and Subcube Vectors

The OLAP Query Log is a table that collects details of queries executed against the SSAS database. To be more precise, the records in this table represent the details of storage engine requests fired off by the Analysis Services engine during query execution – the often missed implication being that […]

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SSAS Memory Configurations for Common Architectures

Earlier this week I was working with a client to configure the server-level memory configuration properties for one of their SSAS servers and the discussion drummed up enough thoughts to prompt this blog post. Below are the primary SSAS server-level memory configuration properties (along with the descriptions from TechNet BoL) […]

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