Just sat in a fascinating session with Dave Wickert and Denny Lee, chatting about the deployment considerations for PowerPivot Server.
Very entertaining, I got my first session swag, and had a lot of laughs.
So, they ran through a large number of points, and I’m quite sure that they will produce full whitepapers with all the points… here are my personal top 6 lessons
- PowerPivot plugin within Excel client is an instance of the Vertipaq OLAP engine.
- This engine defies some of the basic laws of traditional SSAS, primarily aggregations simply don’t exist in PowerPivot.
- To minimise the Excel file sizes, check this cool trick…
- While this runs in memory, it also has a disk based version of the data, which can be found in User Appdata Local Temp IMBIXXX
- Look out for the DICTIONARY files in this folder, these files store the “dimensional attributes”
- If you have excessively large DICTIONARY files on attributes that are not used, simply drop those attributes
- Read the manual when installing! There are a number of server components involved in PowerPivot, so there are many dependancies, including
- The Powerpivot Service can be located in all sort of places within the Sharepoint Server farm
- and you don’t necessarily need kerberos!! Sharepoint 2010 introduces Claims Based Authentication, which keeps the user token within the Sharepoint farm.
- Recommended to use the New Farm option when beginning, all configuration is handled for you.
- Most important aspect of capacity planning is RAM.
General (and possibly most important…)
- Powerpivot does not replace SSAS
- Although Powerpivot happens to use SSAS as it’s internal engine, this was done for calculation abilities, and not as a replacement roadmap for ‘traditional’ SSAS. Yes, all you BI professionals out there, we still have our jobs!