Microsoft, EMC, Knosys, and Unisys jointly announced in February an integrated solution that delivers record-breaking OLAP performance using SQL Server 2000. The showcase solution, known as T3 because of its terabyte of source data stored in a multidimensional cube, operates at Microsoft's Executive Briefing Center in Redmond, Washington. In addition to SQL Server 2000, T3 uses the Knosys ProClarity front-end tools, a 32-way Unisys e-@ction Enterprise Server ES7000 cluster, and the EMC Symmetrix 3830 Enterprise Storage System to solve sales analysis scenarios for real-world products. The companies say that T3 is a proof-of-concept demonstration that provides an end-to-end solution for enterprises that need high-performance data analysis solutions with unprecedented scalability, manageability, and rapid return on investment.

"The Microsoft T3 project has demonstrated a remarkable advance: excellent query performance for 50 concurrent users accessing a terabyte of data represented in full atomic detail in a multidimensional data store," says Richard Winter, president of Winter Corporation, which audited the project. "The data is realistic; the queries are realistic, varied, and include substantial analysis; and the test configuration has a robustness and completeness rarely seen in demonstration projects. T3 shows that SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services has significantly raised the bar for OLAP scalability and performance."

T3 is the largest OLAP system ever built, with 1.2TB of data representing 7.7 billion rows; each row is represented in a 471GB OLAP cube. Microsoft says that compression technology in SQL Server 2000 keeps the cube smaller than the source data, whereas competing solutions produce OLAP cubes that exceed the size of the source data. For results of the T3 audit, visit the Microsoft SQL Server Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/terabytecube.htm.