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MicroStrategy Delivers High Performance for Virtualized Environment Operations

In high performance tests of MicroStrategy 9.0.1 software, MicroStrategy Intelligence Server operating in a virtualized environment maintained average response times under 2 seconds with minimal impact to system throughput. In MicroStrategy’s High Performance and Scalability lab tests, an 8-CPU configuration of MicroStrategy Intelligence Server delivered a power rating of 117 KiloCycles, or 117,000 round-trip queries per hour, while supporting more than 20,000 active users. Meanwhile, the same configuration operating within a virtual machine (VM) delivered a power rating of 95 KiloCycles supporting nearly 17,000 active users. Furthermore, running in a VM environment did not affect the average response times observed. Both systems delivered the same sub 2-second average response time. Tests ran using MicroStrategy 9.0.1 installed on commodity Intel-based hardware with a typical retail price of $24,320.

Performance Test Details: The performance tests were conducted using a standard test suite of 66 reports and 5 complex dashboards that were designed to incorporate the full range of report sizes and usage patterns consistent with enterprise BI applications. MicroStrategy created the test suite based on the application profiles of a dozen of its larger customers. The smallest report contained 1 row and 60KB of data, while the largest report contained over 218,000 rows and 23,602KB of data. The report complexity ranged from a single SQL pass to 149 SQL passes to calculate the report results. The average number of SQL passes for all reports in the test suite is 17. The database used contained 1TB of data with a 7 billion row fact table running on Oracle 11g. The tests operated against cached data as well as large-scale in-memory databases, within the 144GB memory space used by the MicroStrategy Intelligence Server in-memory cube technology.

MicroStrategy’s High Performance Initiative: In April 2010, MicroStrategy announced the launch of its High Performance Initiative, which includes a dedicated team of performance engineers and a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art research laboratory equipped with the latest database hardware, software, and performance testing tools. MicroStrategy’s engineering team runs hundreds of performance tests each week to benchmark software performance, further improve scale and performance, and uncover configuration options and design techniques to deliver higher performance for customers.

For nine consecutive years, MicroStrategy customers have analyzed the largest data volumes as compared to customers of all other BI products, according to The BI Survey, the largest independent survey of the BI market. In the latest BI Survey, 37% of MicroStrategy customers analyze over 1 terabyte vs. an average of 9.7% of BI customers in general. MicroStrategy’s customers have some of the largest and most sophisticated BI deployments in the industry. Here are several examples:

Lowe’s Companies: The second-largest home improvement retailer in the world, Lowe’s has more than 38 terabytes of data. Lowe’s has multiple MicroStrategy-based BI applications that support over 16,000 employees across a variety of business functions, including applications that allow store managers to access store reports and business metrics. In addition, Lowe’s uses BI to help its suppliers and vendors monitor the performance of their products.

METRO GROUP: One of the largest and most international retailing companies, METRO GROUP uses MicroStrategy to analyze 80 terabytes of transactional, product, market, and customer data. MicroStrategy provides METRO GROUP with detailed insights to track business performance, optimize product assortment, and make timely decisions to enhance customer responsiveness. More than 15,000 employees across 30 countries use METRO GROUP’s BI applications.

“Our research consistently shows performance is a key concern impacting BI implementations and organizations’ abilities to provide faster and better decision making capabilities,” said David Menninger, Ventana Research VP and Research Director. “A disciplined approach in measuring and improving performance such as MicroStrategy’s High Performance Initiative provides real value to customers by addressing one of the key obstacles to a successful BI implementation.”

“These test results confirm that MicroStrategy customers can confidently deploy BI applications on VMware-based virtual machines and achieve the hardware efficiencies, streamlined operations, and low cost of operation available through virtualization,” said Sanju Bansal, MicroStrategy’s Chief Operating Officer. “With VMware-based virtualization solutions, MicroStrategy customers can operate their BI environment in an internal cloud or private cloud configuration, providing a wide range of processing flexibility.”

For more details, visit http://www.microstrategy.com/high-performance-bi/test-results/.

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