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If your data warehouse server(s) burned up in a fire, how long would it take to redeploy the system into production?

If you discovered a critical defect in your production BI system, how long would it take to revert to a previous version while you resolve the problem?

Like other mission critical systems, it should take no more than a few days to rebuild your BI system from scratch – including reconfiguring new servers and reloading data. The actual redeployment of your warehouse implementation (database schemata, ETL scripts, BI applications, etc.) should range from minutes to hours, not days or weeks.

Rapid deployment is not only essential due to the mission critical nature of today’s BI systems; it is also a critical aspect of agility. Remember that our highest priority is to satisfy the user community through early and continuous delivery of BI features. This means releasing new BI features into production every iteration or every few iterations. Doing so requires a highly optimized deployment process.

Optimizing data warehouse deployment time requires a combination of several good engineering and IT practices. Central to this goal is proper code management and version control, concepts with which many seasoned BI professionals remain unfamiliar. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to establish bad habits and practices in code management if we aren’t careful. Fortunately, our colleagues in the software development community have been managing code for decades, and have paved the way with effective tools and techniques that we can utilize.

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I fear that, “agile as the latest magic bullet” has crossed the chasm, but that “agile as a different way of behaving” has not."
- Ken Collier
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