Corporations are increasingly relying on data analysis and reporting to improve the overall nature of the business. This is often referred to as Business Intelligence (BI). Bottom line…. It's all about information or data! As a result, data mining and warehousing becomes very important in order to effectively manage and analyze information.
Database management is not a trivial task. As business grows, the need for data storage tend to increase. Sometimes, companies end up supporting multiple database management systems as they grow. As a result, centralized warehousing becomes more and more challenging.
Challenging or difficult tasks should not automatically force us to take the easier route. Often times I hear excuses – not enough time or resources, too busy, urgent requests from the upper management etc. Well... guess what? Everyone's work is very important. Whenever people come up with such excuses, they start making cases for a quicker and easier solution by disregarding best practices. Some may feel the need to establish direct links from the warehouse servers to all the production servers. Why? Makes life easier I guess. When we allow such practices what do we get?
First, 'separation of concerns' or 'loose coupling' are completely out the window. If warehouse servers and the productions servers are so tightly coupled then any changes to the production servers may have direct impact on data warehouse. This may certainly impact project time line if the impact is significant. Additionally, if the warehouse servers are constantly querying large data sets, transactional servers may see heavy performance degradation. Finally and most importantly, linked warehouse servers may pose a significant security risk for the organization.
Therefore, please think long and hard if you are utilize an easier route for your data warehousing solutions. Do a little research on best practices.