Data warehousing solutions traditionally have used massive detail data to deliver business insight to a small community of power analysts. Hardware and software vendors continually compete to scale horizontally--supporting more and more data. NCR Teradata provides powerful and efficient data warehouse solutions ranging from 100GB to multi-terabyte solutions.

But, the game is changing! Data warehouses for the 21st century must also scale vertically. Data warehouses grow in size and in number of users. These users will demand access to the warehouse to meet changing business needs. Solving this "TOP END" of data warehousing presents new challenges for design, implementation and operations.

Let's look at some reasons to extend the warehouse to more users. Internet and Web-based technologies have made user access affordable. The cost of software distribution, trouble shooting and network facilities continues to drop. Customers, partners or employees can reach the data warehouse anytime and from any location. These new opportunities change the face of security needs and warehouse access.

Knowledge workers will need warehouse information to make daily decisions. Today's business climate requires quick response to moves by your competitors. There is no time to submit a request to the database administrator. Users want the answers now, and they want to do it themselves.

Opening the Warehouse to Many Users

So how do you design data warehouse access for 500 or 1,000 or 10,000 current users? Power analysts and explorers will still need the best database throughout for complex detailed analysis. However, a growing number of operational users need easy access for predictable or predefined queries.

With NCR TOP END distributed enterprise middleware, you can standardize the window to your data warehouse for repetitive queries. TOP END's efficient middleware engine connects many Internet users to your database with integrated security. Your TOP END-based applications will prevent "run away queries" without introducing resource governors for power analysts. You can provide business value to many users with lower training and administration costs.

Affordable access to business intelligence is becoming essential to data warehousing. As an example, several major retailers combine the Teradata database with TOP END middleware to reach thousands of business users. This strong combination creates business value for sales analysts, store managers, buyers and even suppliers. Delivering standard business services with TOP END applications turns a data warehouse into a competitive weapon.

Delivering Mission-Critical Services

Today's central data warehouse can be surrounded by operational OLTP (on-line transaction processing) systems, data marts, legacy systems or operational data stores. Users demand access to both current and detailed data with more frequency and granularity. How do you glue it all together?

TOP END provides a mature transaction manager for multiple databases. Many sites use Teradata for the central data warehouse and also use other databases for OLTP. In these environments, TOP END applications can provide guaranteed updates to the warehouse and to the OLTP database or data mart. You can design real-time or queued updates in any combination to meet your data integrity requirements.

Imagine now that you are the operations manager for a global enterprise data warehouse with 3,000 users. When users are making daily decisions from the data warehouse, they must have continual access. Scaling vertically drives "mission critical" and "7x24" requirements. The batch window for data maintenance or scheduled upgrades will disappear.

Achieving and maintaining a competitive edge means continual change. Your goal is to increase business value continually with data warehousing, and yet your users will demand uninterrupted service.

TOP END's run-time environment supports continual operation in the face of complex change. All changes and administration are real time; you do not stop the system to introduce new technologies and applications. With TOP END, users see one seamless system, one user-ID, one password and one network address. TOP END routes them to changing resources beneath the smooth surface.

For example, Reuters is using the combination of the Teradata database and TOP END to deliver financial information publishing to more than 5,000 on-line users. The system must handle peak periods for stock market transactions. Reuters uses TOP END to deliver uninterrupted access to business services--despite scheduled down time and even the loss of a major data warehouse site.

The future of data warehousing will bring exponential growth of users, queries and detailed data. While most customers start with small warehouses, it is critical to select a foundation for growth. Teradata is the leader in scaling horizontally. And with NCR TOP END in your design, you can also grow your warehouse vertically.

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