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How Much RAM Do I Need For My SSAS Tabular Server?

Much of my client work these days is focused on performance… making slow Analysis Services servers run faster. The good part about these types of engagements is that there’s usually (not always) a good amount of low-hanging fruit and I get to play the hero that swoops in to save the day. The bad […]

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Analysis Services Tabular Is (Finally) NUMA-Aware!

Wow, right on the heals of Azure AS and just when you thought things couldn’t get any better for SSAS geeks of the world… Microsoft releases SP1 for SQL Server 2016… an voila, Tabular is now NUMA-Aware! Unfortunately, I don’t have any way to test this at the moment… but […]

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Processing an Azure AS Database

This post contains a list of various methods that can be used to process (i.e. load data into) an Azure AS tabular model. As you will see – not much has changed from the regular on-premise version (which is a very good thing as it softens the learning curve). Note: […]

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Interrogating the Azure AS Configuration Files via PowerShell

When brought in the perform a health check or performance optimization, one of the first steps in the process (after getting the perfmon and xevent traces running) is to document review the environment. In addition to the basics (i.e. CPU cores, GB of memory, clock speeds, etc) one item I’m […]

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On-Premise Data Gateway: Capturing SSAS Query Activity By User

When I’m managing an Analysis Services environment, I’m not just interested in the performance of the workload… yeah that’s important, but I’m also interested in the users who are generating that workload… especially the top users… and here’s why: These top users are your biggest customers. They’ve already bought-in to […]

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Navigating Complex Tabular Models Quickly – Developer Edition

As a developer, working with large/complex tabular models – “large” in terms of the number of tables, columns, and/or measures (not data size) – can be frustrating and borderline soul-crushing. Allow me to paint a picture for you… You’ve just inherited a large tabular model along with a large backlog of […]

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I’ll Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Over the past few weeks I’ve been flexing my network to try and get on an Azure DW project…and so far I’ve come up empty handed. Now granted, I could definitely be wrong about this… but I *thought* my offer was overly generous and guaranteed to land me on an Azure […]

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How to Detect Locking and Blocking In Your Analysis Services Environment

This past weekend, after one of my presentations on Analysis Services at SQL Saturday 520, an attendee described a performance issue in his environment that he thought could be related to locking and blocking and asked if there was a way to confirm if this was the cause. The short […]

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Choosing the Right Instance in Perfmon

There’s been quite a bit posted on this blog regarding the collection of perfmon counters to monitor Analysis Services instances and troubleshoot performance problems. And some of the recommended perform counters (e.g. Process: % Processor Time) are “instance”-specific… meaning you need to select the name of the process for which […]

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Load Testing SSAS with PowerShell

Load testing an SSAS database is one of those tasks that everyone should be doing but very VERY few people actually do… and I can only suspect the reason is because it’s hard. Here are the general steps involved: Capture the query workload using an xEvents (basic example, autorestart option) Shred the xEvents […]

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