Cloud computing is high on hype but I think it’s going to cross the chasm. Cloud computing is IT infrastructure as a service. It is on-demand CPU, disk space and software that is virtual and scalable and available via the Internet. It opens the possibility of any software developer to have a web app available that can grow or shrink with demand. For example, a store front may need to grow by orders of magnitude over the Christmas holiday shopping season but need much less capacity in the following months. A cloud solution allows you to pay for what you use. This scalable infrastructure on demand seems to be a great architecture for a business intelligence solution except for two questions. Will it meet security requirements and will there be enough bandwidth to transfer data to the data repositories?
At Market Street Solutions we are researching the use of cloud computing resources in business intelligence and performance management. We are creating example architectures in Microsoft, IBM Cognos and QlikView. My project is to create a prototype Microsoft Business Intelligence server in the cloud. I will be using Microsoft SQL Server with Analysis Services and Reporting Services along with SharePoint and PerformancePoint on an Amazon EC2 instance.
I’m building a model BI server on Amazon’s Compute Cloud — EC2. The process involves creating key pairs, security groups, Elastic Block volumes, images, instances, AMI’s, S3 buckets and several other terms that that business intelligence professionals didn’t use on a daily basis, if ever. I think that this is going to shake the foundations of IT and the way we build systems.
If you are installing PerformancePoint Monitoring Server on SQL Server 2008 there are some prerequisite steps. PerformancePoint Monitoring Server requires SQL Server 2005 client component software. After SQL Server 2008 is installed and properly updated, then Cumulative update package 9 for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 must be installed. This CU9 is a hotfix and has to be requested at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953752.
After applying the SQL Server 2005 update, PerformancePoint 2007 can be installed but not configured until after PPS SP2 is applied.
Microsoft’s Technet has step by step instructions for these installations and updates at:
Preparing for a four day private training course for a client. We are delivering Intro to Business Intelligence, SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services (SSAS), SQL Server 2008 Integration Services (SSIS), Sql Server 2008 Reporting Services (SSRS) and PerformancePoint/SharePoint dashboard and scorecard building.
I recently was made a Microsoft Certified Trainer along with one of my colleague, Carl Sheffield. We, along with Jeff Wall, MCT in process, will be delivering the courses. The time is abreviated so our objective is to achieve a learner level of understanding of business intelligence and the Microsoft tools involved. They will have heavy hands-on labs to make them comfortable with the basic use of the tools.
It’s amazing how much more you learn about a subject when you have to prepare to teach it.