On Monday Microsoft announced "SQL Server Fast Track", a set of reference architectures for data warehousing with SQL Server. This has all been blogged very well by others, so if you’re interested in finding out more I suggest you read Peter Koller:
and Curt Monash:
A couple of accompanying white papers have also been released, though, and I was reading this one:
When I noticed the following statement:
Project code name "Madison" is the upcoming Microsoft scale-out solution for very large data warehouses (VLDW). Madison is based on the MPP technology developed by DATAllegro and the proven SQL Server 2008 database. Madison expands the DATAllegro hub-and-spoke solution to include not only MPP appliances but also standard symmetric multi-processing (SMP) instances of SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server Analysis Services, (SSAS), allowing either to be viewed as nodes within a grid.
With the upcoming release of Madison, MPP scalability and grid connectivity can be taken to a new level. Madison expands the DATAllegro hub-and-spoke solution to include not only MPP appliances but also standard SMP instances of SQL Server 2008 and SSAS to be viewed as nodes within a grid. A grid of SMP databases and MPP appliances can be used as the basis for any large-scale data warehouse environment or architecture. However, it is particularly suitable for a hub-and-spoke architecture.
So Analysis Services is clearly going to be supported as part of Madison somehow, as a ‘node within a grid’. What does this mean exactly? I’m not really sure. The focus of the paper is the ‘Hub and Spoke’ architecture and how Madison will enable this through its ability to transfer large amounts of data quickly via ‘high speed, parallel transfers’ over its grid. The following DATAllegro white paper offers some more detail on this:
Maybe I’m reading too much into the specific references to SSAS above, but it does seem like something is afoot with Madison and SSAS even if it is just that we’ll get a quick way of moving SSAS databases around. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough…