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Is it possible to distribute a single SSAS database over multiple physical servers in order to improve performance? I've been looking at the Microsoft PDW architecture and am not clear if this is possible using that, or if there are any alternatives.

Thanks for your help.

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2 Answers

I have no experience of using PDW but as an alternative you could do the following.

Deploy the database to multiple physical servers and balance the load using something such as HAProxy. Should point out however that I have not tested this myself but have heard it suggested in the past.

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yes, you can salce out SSAS quite nicely

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc280669(v=SQL.105).aspx

Data Processing

In this phase, the multidimensional database is updated and processed. as soon as it is the content of the multidimensional database is ready to be sent, the Data Access Environment processing the data for transfer. This process is composed of the following steps:

Detach the Analysis Services database from the Data Processing server.

Take offline the logical SAN volume that holds the Analysis Services database.

Downtime Window

In this phase, the content of the updated database is swapped with the content of the original database.

Set the NLBs to reject any incoming requests.

Detach the Analysis Services databases from each Data Access server.

Take offline the logical SAN volume that holds the Analysis Services database from each Data Access server.

Using SAN commands, swap the logical SAN volumes between the Processing Environment and the Data Access Environment.

Bring online, as a read-only device, the logical SAN volume that holds the Analysis Services database for each Data Access server.

Attach the Analysis Services database, in ReadOnly mode, to each Data Access server.

Set the NLBs to accept any incoming request.

Reset Data Processing

In this phase, the content of the old logical SAN volume is updated and brought online in the Processing Environment.

Using SAN commands, mirror the logical SAN volume in Data Access to the Processing Environment logical SAN.

Bring online, as a read/write device, the logical SAN volume that holds the Analysis Services database for the Processing Environment.

Attach the Analysis Services database, in ReadWrite mode, to the Processing Environment server.

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