Saturday Jul 05, 2008

Sun and Greenplum Appliance

Greenplum Appliance Data Warehousing Without Limits.

The Data Warehouse Appliance powered by Sun and Greenplum is the industry's first cost-effective, high-performance super-capacity data warehouse appliance. Purpose-built for high-performance, large-scale data warehousing, the solution integrates best-in-class database, server, and storage components into one easy-to-use, plug-and-play system.

At the heart of the Data Warehouse Appliance is the Sun Fire™ X4500 server powered by Dual-Core AMD Opteron™ processors. The Sun Fire X4500 server
represents a revolution in server architecture for data warehousing. With up to 24 terabytes of on-board, high-density storage (48 drives in a 4 RU system), it delivers industry leading compute power, storage density, and near-zero latency access to data in a single, integrated solution. The hot-swappable disks provide 2 gigabytes per second serial read throughput per system. Utilizing the massively parallel processing architecture provided by Greenplum's MPP PostgreSQL database, the Data Warehouse Appliance
distributes data across all disks in the system, enabling query-in-storage processing for today's demanding data warehousing applications. The Data Warehouse Appliance powered by Sun and Greenplum changes the game in data warehousing with low acquisition costs, quality, global support, and technical expertise.The Data Warehouse Appliance truly transforms the economics of data warehousing.

Value Proposition

  • Data Warehouse Appliance powered by Sun and Greenplum
  • Open Source : PostgreSQL
  • Solaris™10 Operating System and Solaris ZFS
  • Sun Fire™ x4500 servers with 2 Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors
  • Sun Fire x4100 server (parallel optimizer planner)
  • 1 TB/mn Scan
  • Scale to hundreds of terabytes
  • Massively Parallel Processing
  • MPP PostgreSQL
  • Parallel Loading 500GB/hour
  • Modular Design
  • 100 TB/rack (DW100 hardware)
  • 9 KW/rack
  • Global Support
  • Sun Solution Center

Sunday Jun 01, 2008

Follow the Sun

Follow The Sun The Helios-synchronous Dynamic Architecture

The best architecture for sales management of an multinational compagny. The system performance must be on top for user activity and data Integration. User activity and data integration are in day and night alternation for every time zone across the world. The system must follow the sun and be synchronized with users activity. Nevertheless the data integration activity being done the night, a reserve of power must be allocated at every time zone to guarantee the system availability and performance. It is thus necessary to design a dynamic system according to the days and nights alternation.

This solution is based on SAP BI Software and Solaris Containers.
  • Solaris 10 and Solaris Resource Manager
  • Resources guaranteed for any Time Zone
  • One Local Zone/Time Zone per AS Instances
  • Resources consolidation
  • Global Zone for DB/CI Instances
  • User activity the Day & Data Integration the Night
  • Resources in Day & Night Alternation
  • Dynamic integration for new country

Sunday May 25, 2008

Key Success Factors for Business Value

Key Success Factors

The Key Success Factors (KSF) are the strategic elements that a company must monitor in order to ensure its durability and its ability to outperform its competitors.
The Key Success Factors are conditioned by the company and market environment.

Some Key Success Factors for deliver Business Value in the company :

  • Products and Services standardization
  • IT Processes Optimization
  • Change Management
  • Environnements Analysis, Monitoring, Automation Deployments
  • Increase Hardware Use Ratio, Infrastructure Flexibility, Dynamic Infrastructure
  • Business Continuity
  • Open Source
  • Service Level Agreement
  • ...

Saturday May 24, 2008

Measuring IT's Business Value

Measuring IT's Business Value You can’t manage, What you don’t measure !

IT Value Benefits are beyond Costs reduction, contributing to increase company's profitability
It's not easy to prove that an infrastructure gives business value to a company. I will try to answer at this difficult question.
To measure the IT infrastructure performance it is necessary to understand the performance indicator concept..

What is Key Business Value ?
  • Focus on Industry : Bank/Finance, Government, Retail, Telco, Manufacturing...
  • Business Value is Large : Stakeholder Value, Customer Value, Employee Value, Partner Value, Supplier Value, Managerial Value, Societal Value
  • Key Business Indicators : Profitability, Revenue Growth, Customer Satifaction, Market Share, Cross-Sell Ratio, Marketing Campaign Response Rates, Relationship Duration...
  • Common Language Management
  • IT Portfolio
  • IT Maturity
What is IT Value ?
  • Business/IT Alignment
  • Intellectual Properties
  • IT Process Automation
  • IT Performance
  • Innovation
  • Community
  • Know-How
  • Expertise
  • Service Level Agreement
Key Metrics
  • Key Metrics = Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Technical performance indicators : CPU, I/O, SAPS, SpecInt, TPC-H, Availability Ratio, Time To Repair, Data Loss Ratio...
  • Financial performance indicators : TCO, ROI, Depreciation...
  • Ecological performance indicators: Space, Watt, CO2, RoHS Ratio, WEEE Recycling Ratio...
What is Performance Lever ?
The Performance Lever is specific key performance indicator, it increases the system performance and it interacts with key indicators
It is a functional indicator, not technical !

  • #Concurrent Users Indicator is a Performance Lever (Business Indicator)
  • #CPU and #I/O are Key Performance Indicators
  • Calculate #CPU = f(#Concurrent users)
  • Calculate #I/O = f(#Concurrent users)
  • Start a Provisioning Process automatically
  • with #CPU and #I/O Values
  • Activate #CPU and #I/O Cards with Capacity on Demand Process
  • Integrate a new Web server with xVM Ops Center and N1 Service Provisioning System process
  • Testing
Measuring IT Value Process
  • Put technical captors in different points of the infrastructure via scripts, software…
  • Gather technical, financial and ecological indicators values
  • Integrate the native indicators values into the CMDB (My SQL for example because it's free software)
  • Calculate the complex indicators with native indicators
  • Analyse the results with reporting tool (StarOffice Calc for example because it's not a expensive solution)
  • Compare the results obtained to the awaited results.
  • Build a dashboard for CIO, IT Managers
  • Infrastructure update with analysis results

Saturday Feb 16, 2008

MySQL For Business Intelligence

MySQL for Business Intelligence MySQL, Yes for Business Intelligence

I think that MySQL can be a good compromise compared to the great databases of the Business Intelligence market having advanced functionalities in this field like Oracle or Sybase. Today we surely can propose MySQL as an alternative to Oracle or Sybase. MySQL evolves and is improved with various functionalities related to Business Intelligence.
Today, if you want increase Business Intelligence funtionalities with MySQL, you should add a software Infobright BrightHouse (it's a Data Warehouse engine for very large database)

It's a solution for Analytic Data Warehousing that delivers high performance for complex analytic queries across vast amounts of data. BrightHouse delivers the following key features:

  • high query performance for analysis across terabytes of data.
  • average data compression of 10:1 (10TB of raw data can be stored at 1TB).
  • low administration requirements.
  • runs on low cost, commodity hardware.
  • compatible with all major BI tools including Cognos, Business Objects, etc.

BrightHouse at its core is a highly compressed column-oriented datastore that incorporates MySQL technology. BrightHouse leverages MySQL’s pluggable storage engine architecture and bundles MySQL Version 5.1.
The MySQL connectors (C, JDBC, ODBC, .NET, Perl, etc.) are used in BrightHouse. The MySQL management services and utilities are used as the technology around connection pooling. As with other MySQL storage engines, MyISAM is used to store catalogue information such as table definitions, views, users, permissions, etc.

For the reporting functionalities, we work with the partners like JasperSoft and Actuate. For the ETL functionality, we work with Talend (Open Source ETL).

Our stack Business Intelligence is thus: MySQL + Talend + JasperSoft.

For IT governance, I see real interest to position MySQL as a reference database to implement CMDB according to ITIL best practices. At first, to control IT performance infrastructure by deploying IT model in MySQL and then to have this model deployed in the field by professional services ( standardization phase ).


Friday Feb 15, 2008

BI Architecture Design

BI Architecture Design The Best Architecture for Business Driving

If you want to size this type of architecture you must read the BI rules and definitions here

Sizing Methodology
The major parameters for sizing business intelligence technical architecture are : Concurrent queries launched by users (low, medium, high), Processor (type, frequency), Operating System (name, version), Tools Analysis and Databases (name, version), Data (raw data volume, usesable data volume), Data flow (size, frequency, timing, complexity, period) and aggregates building.

Architecture Design example
• Users activity in different time zone (ex: France, Japan, Brasil, Australia...)
Standardization : best practices ITIL v3, servers and storage consolidation
• Virtualization : servers virtualization (Solaris Containers cloned by country) and storage virtualization Sun StorageTek 9990V
• Dynamic infrastructure : more flexibilty for dynamic user and data integration. Resource management with Solaris Resource Manager (SRM) for data integration vs users activity
performance. Data replication for high availability.
• Gouvernance : Performance and cost management


Tuesday Feb 12, 2008

BI Architecture Definition

BI Architecture Definition Understanding Business Intelligence Rules and Definitions

If you want to understand the Business Intelligence and design the best architecture for the customers needs, then, you must know of them the rules and definitions. It is the best way of being able to dialogue more easily with the specialists.

What is Business Intelligence ?
Business intelligence (BI) is a broad category of applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions. BI applications include the activities of decision support systems, query and reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), statistical analysis, forecasting, and data mining. Business intelligence applications can be: Mission-critical and integral to an enterprise's operations or occasional to meet a special requirement Enterprise-wide or local to one division, department, or project. Centrally initiated or driven by user demand.

Raw Data vs Usable Data
Raw data is the data source resulting from the operational systems (CRM, RH, BILLING, PURCHASES, SCM).
Usable data is the result of raw data and technical data according database organization, like indexes, aggregates, metadata, axis, indicators and data work. Usable data does not include Raid factor.

Data Structure

The database is structured in 3 levels: Staging Area is the storage area for data validation. Data Warehouse is the storage area for data details and metadata (ex. Oracle, DB2...) and Data Marts is the storage area for business data including axis, indicators and aggregates (ex: Oracle, DB2, Sybase, Essabse...)

Users Activity

Named users may reach the Business Intelligence system. Users perform concurrent access to BI system ressources. Low users perform reporting by means of requests sweeping around 1.000 records. Medium users perform navigation and analysis around 100.000 records. High users perform ad hoc navigation and analyze large volumes of data with several joints of tables or full facts table scan around 1 million records.

Extraction, Transformation, Loading

Data Integration is more or less complex according to the transformation topics that they perform.
Simple processing represents simple calculations, simple concatenations. Medium processing represents average calculations, medium concatenations. Heavy processing represents heavy calculations, statistical, complex algorithms and heavy concatenations


Software is classified according to several technologies topics: ETL Tools for extraction, transformation and data loading (PowerCenter, DataStage, AbItinio...). Relational database (RDMS) is an entitie/relation data structure (ex: Oracle, Sybase, SAS Base, DB2...). Multidimensional database (MDMS) is a matrix data structure stored on disk (ex: Essbase, Powerplay...). Reporting/Analysis tools (ex: Business Objects, Cognos, SAS, SAP/BI...)

Time Management

The Business Intelligence system is different from the operational system because it integrates the time factor.
Time management is very important in Business Intelligence: data retention duration (ex: 3 years), operational period (ex: Monday - Friday), operation frequency (ex: daily) and associated time frame (ex: 08:00 AM - 07:00 PM)


Thursday Jan 17, 2008

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence drives Business and IT Performance

In today’s highly competitive business climate, making better decisions faster
can mean the difference between surviving and thriving. The challenges are
managing the exponential growth of data in a cost-effective and secure manner,
while transforming relevant data into information for decision support needs. Sun takes the cost and complexity out of today’s business intelligence and data warehouse requirements with a single open platform whose architecture can scale to meet your entire needs from deployment today to meeting your growth needs tomorrow. The results are faster access to information, the ability to make better decisions quickly and speed up time to market.

Sun has more 2000 customers references in business intelligence and data warehousing in the world on all industries (bank/finance, manufacture, retail, government, telco...)
Sun Microsystems developed a network competenties and expert in Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing around the world and working with its partners : SAS, Oracle, Informatica, SAP, etc.
The Sun Microsystems Business Intelligence Solutions integrate specific services around Extraction, Transformation and Loading,  Database, Reporting, OnLine Analytical Processing, Technical architectures, Proof-of-Concept and Benchmarks.

See performance results
DMreview, Wintercorp, TPC           

The qualification of the Business Intelligence technical architecture is declined according three assumptions :

  1. Data storage volume : for disk sizing. technical architecture support the data volume. The useful volume is the raw volume for operational systems with index, agregats, metadata and data work for database system.
  2. Extract, transform and load : for extraction, transformation and data loading. The technical architecture support for ETL process is based on the data flow volume and data processing.
  3. Users volume : for sizing users activities (Reporting, OnLine Analytical Processing). The technical architecture support for reporting process is based on concurrent users number on Data Warehouse and Data Marts.
Our Technology Assets

Wednesday Jan 16, 2008

Business/IT Alignment Methodology

Business-IT Alignment Approch IT Value for your Business Needs

Here I propose a deployment of the overall approach. I analyze the business model, then define an IT model that fits the business needs and in the end propose some IT solutions based on hardware, software and  value added services.
Business and IT Alignment is not a one time activity: it is actually a closed loop cycle where we re-evaluate IT needs according to the business needs on a regular basis.
Business changes quickly, so we need to be able to react and adapt the IT infrastructure to those changes. This approach gives us the needed reactivity to do that. So this is pretty common sense ! But this has to be done in a conscious and organized manner. So, in order to help our customers evolving in terms of IT maturity and delivering business value, we now tend to use at Sun the Business/IT Alignment Approach.
It consists first in identifying the business drivers that apply to a particular customer. These business drivers can be related to some strategic goals, to tactical objectives, to Corporate process improvements, to specific constraints of a particular industry...
It is central for an IT provider to understand up front these business drivers. There is no way we can design and deploy effective IT solutions without going through that step first. This is particularly true for storage where a lack of understanding of those drivers often leads to a very monolithic and difficult to manage storage in the best case or to silos of non interoperable storage in the worst case.
Once business drivers are identified, we need to understand key success factors and key performance indicators that will be used in order to drive and monitor progress. When I say "performance", I actually mean technological but also financial, environment and security. As an example, we may want to achieve a decrease of 30% on floor space. We may also want to achieve a higher availability on some critical data... To say it simply, we have to understand what needs to be achieved in terms of IT objectives, keeping in mind the business drivers that have been identified.
Business/IT Approach is an iterative loop and consist in aligning business drivers part of the business model with the success factors part of the IT model. The key performance indicators measure the performance of the IT solution according business, financial and technological criterias.
Each time a business model changes, IT model changes and in the end  IT solution also.

Example in Telco industry
  • Key Business Driver : Negotiate convergence fixe phone, mobile phone, Internet and TV
  • Key Success Factor : Deliver customer services independent of the support
  • Key Performance Indicators : Virtualized applications ratio, SwaP ratio, Use rate of equipment environment, Return On Investment, Number of virtual machines, Availability ratio...
  • IT Value Proposition: Infrastructure virtualization - Improvement of utilization ratio and infrastructure flexibility

Tuesday Jan 15, 2008

Business Value Proposition

Business Value Proposition

That's a unique Sun Proposition which brings Value to the Company
It's enrolling within the scope of governance and integrates business intelligence.
A business value proposition contains in a company context: strategy, objectives,
business drivers, assets, services capabilities, customers references, promise (business drivers and IT solution crossed matrix), and key performance indicators (business, financial, technical).

The business model is based on 4 axis :
  Industry (ex: Manuf., Bank, Telco, Gov...)
  Strategy (ex: Innovation, Customer satisfaction...)
  Objective (ex: Personnalize et individualize services, Adaptation for regulatory constraints...)
  Process (ex: Sales, Supply, Billing...)

Business value proposition best practices

  • Consult the activity report of your customer`s company.You will find in it informations like strategy,business drivers and financial performance indicators.
  • Consult CIO which will give you further informations on the IT stakes they will have to overcome .
  • Consult analysts reports (Gartner, IDC, Forrester...) which will give you the IT trends and business needs for each market.
  • Consult Web sites and press articles to get informed of the market events
  • Have a good dose of creativity to amaze your customer


Business stakes are changing, the IT infrastructure must be increasingly reactive to significantly reduce Time To Market. Today, we have the technology and methodology addressing these new business challenges.


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