What are the categories for Hardware and Operating System Platforms?

There are various categories for hardware and operating system platforms which are as follows −

Mainframes − The data warehouse is probably the one application to which this does not apply. Especially, the mainframe is not the first-choice platform for data warehousing.

There are some successful mainframe-based data warehouses, most of them have been on the mainframe for various years and will be costly to move, or they are taking benefit of excess capacity, so the marginal cost is relatively low.

The mainframe is not necessarily cost-effective for data warehousing. Administrative, hardware and programming costs are generally larger than on open system platforms, in part because the mainframe environment consists of a robust transaction-processing infrastructure that is not essential to data warehousing.

Because the mainframe is designed primarily to support transaction requirements, it is relatively inflexible from a programming point of view. Although the tools and techniques are robust, they are also difficult to use. Inserting new data sources to the warehouse, or simply supporting existing extracts can be an onerous service.

Open system servers − Open system or UNIX servers are the primary platforms for most medium-sized or larger data warehouses today. UNIX is generally robust enough to support production applications, and it was adapted for parallel processing more than a decade ago.

The UNIX server market is fairly commoditized. From a process point of considering, UNIX can be an adequately cryptic and foreign environment for mainframe professionals or PC programmers to adapt to. Some standard mainframe tools and utilities are not typical in UNIX.

If it can select a UNIX server as the platform, the warehouse team will be required to include the resources and experience to install and manage a UNIX environment. This is generally adept through a close, participatory connection with the server management group.

If the data warehouse depends on a UNIX environment, the warehouse team will also require to understand basic UNIX commands and utilities to allow develop and manage the warehouse.

NT servers − NT is the fastest growing operating system in the server market, it has only recently attained the ability to support a medium-sized warehouse. Viable largescale hardware platforms for NT are only becoming accessible.

Parallel processing capabilities have been defined to individual-digit processor counts, and NT server clustering is only becoming an operational existence. NT will surely evolve into a dynamic operating system platform, but it is not the option for medium-to-huge warehouses at this point. However, NT is certainly a cost-effective platform for smaller warehouses or data marts that might be populated from the atomic data mart.

Updated on: 09-Feb-2022


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