SQL Server Analysis Services in Windows Azure

Posted : Friday, 30 March 2012 14:59:00

Recently I was investigating on behalf of a client, possible hosting strategies for an SSAS based BI system. One option that would seem to be quite favourable would be to host SSAS within the Azure cloud – one would think that this would be a logical option; In my experience Microsoft products play really nicely together so it would seem reasonable to assume that SSAS would sit well within the cloud model, offering really low setup costs for customers wishing to start out on an OLAP journey without the significant financial budgets that are often a barrier to this type of project. It therefore came as quite a surprise that Microsoft currently have no plans to offer Analysis services as part of the SQL Azure product. I had a chat with a few people and thrashed out what could be an Azure based SSAS architecture. The diagram below is a high level representation of this. It should be stressed that this hasn’t been attempted so if you do attempt this, do so with caution. That said if you do go for it, and it does work, please do let me know!

Possible SSAS Azure deployment

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