Microsoft Parallel Data Warehouse Review

Collects data through SSIS packages from different sources and puts them all in one data repository

What is our primary use case?

We provide this solution as a service to customers. Sometimes, it is just used as a data warehouse. However, a couple of our customers use the data warehouse to collect information from everywhere, e.g., from their subsidiaries, such as electric or petrol companies.

We are also developing some dashboards using the data warehouse. Sometimes, you are using Microsoft BI, but most of the time, you are using Qlik. It depends on the customer needs at the end of the day. 

Most of our limitations until this moment have been on-premise. There is some sensitive information, like the billing system for an entire country's electricity. However, because of the current circumstances with COVID-19, we are discussing with them how to move it to the cloud. Mostly because of the regulation that any government data cannot be hosted on a cloud, we need to host it on a local cloud at the moment. We cannot use AWS or similar things as of now. 

While we do have local cloud vendors that we are working with, this is something in progress.

What is most valuable?

  • Availability of resources everywhere
  • The cost of resources
  • The information knowledge is there.
  • It is easy to use. You can do what you want with the tool.
  • It integrates well with SQL Server.

Collecting the data through SSIS packages from different sources and putting them all in one data repository is the most powerful thing. While others have this feature, they don't have the simplicity or ease of use when getting a resource and knowing everything about it. You can collect data from Oracle Databases, SQL databases, or file systems where it is then saved in one location, building cubes in an easy for SSIS packages. 

What needs improvement?

The setup has room for improvement. Some customers want to go to non-Windows Servers. Have the entire SQL Server done there though is an obstacle for us, as the configuration of Microsoft BI with cubes is a bit complicated.

I would like the integration to be offered in a simpler way. I would like improvement in the integration between Microsoft SQL cubes and Parallel Data Warehouse with other members of the Microsoft family, such as Microsoft Power BI and SharePoint.

This tool needs a lot of memory for processing. As it does a lot of jobs, it may need this memory while other tools don't need that much. It would help if they enhanced the memory and hardware usage of the tool in order to support the performance of doing the queries

I would like the tool to support different operating systems.

I want a dashboard.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using it for five to six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. We have migrated millions to billions of data points in Cubes from system to system, while running data cleansing conditions. Putting restraints on this can be time consuming which is why people may want to go to another server. When you inject equation and conditions, then it consumes a lot of time. Though, I have never compared this time consumption to other tools.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have no concern about the scalability. We have never faced any problems regarding the scalability. If we wanted to extend this, it is extendable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The online help is good enough along with our technical expertise. 

How was the initial setup?

If everything is available, such as information knowledge sources and connections, I can have the solution deployed in five days.

What about the implementation team?

I recommend getting assistance from an integrator or consultant with the integration.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Microsoft has an agreement with the government in our country, so our customers get their licensing costs from the Ministry. Whenever we work with any government, company, or government institute, which is mainly what we are doing, that license comes directly from the Ministry of Technology and Information. 

We actually do not know that much about the price of Microsoft tools. Even if I ask for the price, I'm asking it as a partner.

What other advice do I have?

We have had a good experience working with this tool.

If you don't have a problem with memory and have good processors, then you won't have an issue. However, depending on your needs, you may want to go check out other tools.

I would rate the tool as an eight out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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