Tag Archives: data warehouse

Adding Big Data to Your EDW Architecture

Adding Big Data to Your EDW Architecture

Adding Big Data to Your EDW Architecture

As you think forward towards how you will use Big Data to compliment your current enterprise data warehouse (EDW) environment, check out the excellent webinar by Ralph Kimball and Matt Brandwein of Cloudera:

Webinar: Building a Hadoop Data Warehouse: Hadoop 101 for EDW Professionals

A couple comments on the importance of integration platforms like Informatica in an EDW/Hadoop environment.

  • Hadoop does mean you can do some quick and inexpensive exploratory analysis with little or no ETL.  The issue is that it will not perform at the level you need to take it to production.  As the webinar points out, applying some structure to the data with columnar files (not RDBMS) will dramatically speed up query performance.
  • The other thing that makes an integration platform more important than ever is the explosion of data complexity.    As Dr. Kimball put it: 

“Integration is even more important these days because you are looking at all sorts of data sources coming in from all sorts of directions.” 

To perform interesting analyses, you are going to have to be able to join data with different formats and different semantic meaning.  And that is going to require integration tools.

  • Thirdly, if you are going to put this data into production, you will want to incorporate data cleansing, metadata management, and possibly formal data governance to ensure that your data is trustworthy, auditable, and has business context.  There is no point in serving up bad data quickly and inexpensively.  The result will be poor business decisions and flawed analyses.

For Data Warehouse Architects

The challenge is to deliver actionable content from the exploding amount of data available.  You will need to be constantly scanning for new sources of data and looking for ways to quickly and efficiently deliver that to the point of analysis.

For Enterprise Architects

The challenge with adding Big Data to Your EDW Architecture is to define and drive a coherent enterprise data architecture across your organization that standardizes people, processes, and tools to deliver clean and secure data in the most efficient way possible.  It will also be important to automate as much as possible to offload routine tasks from the IT staff.  The key to that automation will be the effective use of metadata across the entire environment to not only understand the data itself, but how it is used, by whom, and for what business purpose.  Once you have done that, then it will become possible to build intelligence into the environment.

For more on Informatica’s vision for an Intelligent Data Platform and how this fits into your enterprise data architecture see Think “Data First” to Drive Business Value

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Posted in Architects, Big Data, CIO, Data Warehousing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Data Warehouse Optimization: Not All Data is Created Equal

Data Warehouse Optimization (DWO) is becoming a popular term that describes how an organization optimizes their data storage and processing for cost and performance while data volumes continue to grow from an ever increasing variety of data sources.

Data warehouses are reaching their capacity much too quickly as the demand for more data and more types of data are forcing IT organizations into very costly upgrades.  Further compounding the problem is that many organizations don’t have a strategy for managing the lifecycle of their data.  It is not uncommon for much of the data in a data warehouse to be unused or infrequently used or that too much compute capacity is consumed by extract-load-transform (ELT) processing.  This is sometimes the result of business requests for one off business reports that are no longer used or staging raw data in the data warehouse.  A large global bank’s data warehouse was exploding with 200TB of data forcing them to consider an upgrade that would cost $20 million.  They discovered that much of the data was no longer being used and could be archived to lower cost storage thereby avoiding the upgrade and saving millions.  This same bank continues to retire data monthly resulting in on-going savings of $2-3 million annually.  A large healthcare insurance company discovered that fewer than 2% of their ELT scripts were consuming 65% of their data warehouse CPU capacity.  This company is now looking at Hadoop as a staging platform to offload the storage of raw data and ELT processing freeing up their data warehouse to support the hundreds of concurrent business users.  A global media & entertainment company saw their data increase by 20x per year and the associated costs increase 3x within 6 months as they on-boarded more data such as web clickstream data from thousands of web sites and in-game telemetry data.

In this era of big data, not all data is created equal with most raw data originating from machine log files, social media, or years of original transaction data considered to be of lower value – at least until it has been prepared and refined for analysis. This raw data should be staged in Hadoop to reduce storage and data preparation costs while the data warehouse capacity should be reserved for refined, curated and frequently used datasets.  Therefore, it’s time to consider optimizing your data warehouse environment to lower costs, increase capacity, optimize performance, and establish an infrastructure that can support growing data volumes from a variety of data sources.  Informatica has a complete solution available for data warehouse optimization.

The first step in the optimization process as illustrated in Figure 1 below is to identify inactive and infrequently used data and ELT performance bottlenecks in the data warehouse.  Step 2 is to offload the data and ELT processing identified in step 1 to Hadoop.  PowerCenter customers have the advantage of Vibe which allows them to map once and deploy anywhere so that ELT processing executed through PowerCenter pushdown capabilities can be converted to ETL processing on Hadoop as part of a simple configuration step during deployment.  Most raw data, such as original transaction data, log files (e.g. Internet clickstream), social media, sensor device, and machine data should be staged in Hadoop as noted in step 3.  Informatica provides near-universal connectivity to all types of data so that you can load data directly into Hadoop.  You can even replicate entire schemas and files into Hadoop, capture just the changes, and stream millions of transactions per second into Hadoop such as machine data.  The Informatica PowerCenter Big Data Edition makes every PowerCenter developer a Hadoop developer without having to learn Hadoop so that all ETL, data integration and data quality can be executed natively on Hadoop using readily available resource skills while increasing productivity up to 5x over hand-coding.  Informatica also provides data discovery and profiling tools on Hadoop to help data science teams collaborate and understand their data.  The final step is to move the resulting high value and frequently used data sets prepared and refined on Hadoop into the data warehouse that supports your enterprise BI and analytics applications.

To get started, Informatica has teamed up with Cloudera to deliver a reference architecture for data warehouse optimization so organizations can lower infrastructure and operational costs, optimize performance and scalability, and ensure enterprise-ready deployments that meet business SLA’s.  To learn more please join the webinar A Big Data Reference Architecture for Data Warehouse Optimization on Tuesday November 19 at 8:00am PST.

dwo4

Figure 1:  Process steps for Data Warehouse Optimization

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Posted in Big Data | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

New Methods to Optimize Data Warehouse Performance and Lower Costs

Data warehouses tend to grow very quickly because they integrate data from multiple sources and maintain years of historical data for analytics.  A number of our customers have data warehouses in the hundreds of terabytes to petabytes range.  Managing such a large amount of data becomes a challenge.  How do you curb runaway costs in such an environment?  Completing maintenance tasks within the prescribed window and ensuring acceptable performance are also big challenges.

We have provided best practices to archive aged data from data warehouses.  Archiving data will keep the production data size at almost a constant level, reducing infrastructure and maintenance costs, while keeping performance up.  At the same time, you can still access the archived data directly if you really need to from any reporting tool.  Yet many are loath to move data out of their production system.  This year, at Informatica World, we’re going to discuss another method of managing data growth without moving data out of the production data warehouse.  I’m not going to tell you what this new method is, yet.  You’ll have to come and learn more about it at my breakout session at Informatica World:  What’s New from Informatica to Improve Data Warehouse Performance and Lower Costs.

I look forward to seeing all of you at Aria, Las Vegas next month.  Also, I am especially excited to see our ILM customers at our second Product Advisory Council again this year.

 

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Posted in Data Archiving, Data Governance, Data Warehousing, Database Archiving, Enterprise Data Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Column-oriented Part 2: Flexible Data Modeling for a Simplified End User Experience

In my previous blog, I explained how Column-oriented Database Management Systems (CDBMS), also known as columnar databases or CBAT, offer a distinct advantage over the traditional row-oriented RDBMS in terms of I/O workload, deriving primarily from basing the granularity of I/O operations on the column rather than the entire row. This technological advantage has a direct impact on the complexity of data modeling tasks and on the end-user’s experience of the data warehouse, and this is what I will discuss in today’s post. (more…)

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Posted in Application ILM, Data Integration | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

What the Physical Infrastructure Can Teach Us About Testing IT Applications

I was at an IT conference a few years ago. The speaker was talking about application testing. At the beginning of his talk, he asked the audience:

“Please raise your hand if you flew here from out of town.”

Most of the audience raised their hands. The speaker then said:

“OK, now if you knew that the airplane you flew on had been tested the same way your company tests its applications, would you have still flown on that plane?

After some uneasy chuckling, every hand went down.  Not a great affirmation of the state of application testing in most IT shops. (more…)

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When Delivery is Job One, Quality is Job None

Jim Harris, OCDQ

The reality in data warehousing is that the primary focus is on delivery. The data warehouse team is tasked with extracting, transforming, integrating, and loading data into the warehouse within increasingly tight timeframes. Twenty years ago, monthly data warehouse loads were common.  Ten years ago, weekly loads became the norm. Five years ago, daily loads were called for.  Nowadays, near-real-time analytics demands the data warehouse be loaded more frequently than once a day. (more…)

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Posted in Big Data, Data Integration, Data Quality | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Data in India

Last week I was in both Bangalore and Mumbai providing the keynote address at the Informatica World Tour events. I also had the opportunity to visit with customers and speak with media. Much like the rest of the world, big data is all the buzz. I was particularly taken by a set of questions asked by local media. I thought I’d share them with you along with some of my perspectives.

Who needs big data? What kind of business problems should an enterprise be facing to consider big data? (more…)

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Posted in Big Data, CIO, Data Governance, Data Quality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment