Dell SMB Reference Configuration for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Fast Track Data Warehouse on
A data warehouse is a large store of data accumulated from a wide range of sources. The stored data is
analyzed for trend analysis, business intelligence reporting, and various types of predictive analysis.
With today’s never ending data growth and complexity, it is becoming a tedious job for customers to
balance capacity and performance within the data warehouse system. Growing data volumes and
loading challenges, OLAP query complexity, and number of users are causing response times to
increase. IT executives are looking for solutions that offer lower cost, easier management, and better
There are many challenges in designing a database configuration for OLAP workloads. One is ensuring
an optimal balance of I/O, storage, memory and processing power.
Dell™ and Microsoft® jointly developed guidelines and design principles to assist customers in designing
and implementing a balanced configuration specifically for Microsoft SQL Server® data warehouse
workloads to achieve “out-of-box” scalable performance.
This white paper describes the architecture design principles needed to achieve a balanced
configuration for the Dell PowerEdge™ R720xd server using the Microsoft Fast Track Data Warehouse
Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse
In order to overcome the limitations of traditional data warehouse systems, Microsoft has developed a
cost-effective solution that optimally balances the hardware and software capabilities of the system. It
provides an easy to deploy data warehouse infrastructure by mainly focusing on storage tuning and
database layout. Fast Track Data Warehouse (FTDW) implements data warehouse solutions differently.
As most data warehouse queries scan large volumes of data, FTDW designs are optimized for sequential
scans and reads. These methodologies yield performance much better than that of traditional data
warehousing systems. Based on this, Dell has developed a reference guide that helps customers
implement FTDW on Dell hardware.
Dell Fast Track Data Warehouse Reference Architecture
In order to optimize data warehouse stack component performance, each layer must be properly
tuned. Table 1 lists the Proposed Reference architecture along with the assigned Solution IDs. The
following sections explain the tuning of selected hardware and software.
Table 1. Dell Fast Track Reference Architecture Solution Details