Kilimanjaro, Gemini and Madison - Get the lowdown
December 22, 2008
You probably have already heard some news about the next release of SQL Server code name Kilimanjaro. Microsoft started sharing information about Kilimanjaro with attendees of the BI and PASS conferences. During the first week of December, I had the pleasure to interview Herain Oberoi of Microsoft. He is the group project manager for the SQL Server Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse product. This article will share the questions I asked Mr. Oberoi and what I learned about Kilimanjaro during this interview.
Would you please provide a high level overview of Kilimanjaro.
What are of some of the exciting new enhancements and features that will be introduced in Kilimanjaro?
End user empowerment is allowing people to do more self service analysis and reporting without having to involve Information Technology (IT) staff to accomplish this analysis and reporting. The self service analysis piece of the first pillar is what we are calling project Gemini. Project Gemini will provide the user with tools that will have an intuitive user interface, similar to Excel. Gemini allows users to work with very large volumes of information. It will support up to at least 100 million rows if necessary. This is able to happen by exploiting in memory storage.
Project Gemini allows users to model their data and build reports in Excel and then eventually publish them out to something like SharePoint. This allows the end user to build a report that they can share with others. This SharePoint integration with Gemini provides the end users more incentive to share reports, as well has helps IT manage these reports by placing them into a managed SharePoint environment.
Publishing reports into SharePoint via Gemini feeds the second pillar, which is IT compliance. Once reports are in SharePoint, IT can determine which end user reports are the most popular and then determine how best to incorporate these reports into IT solutions, therefore helping with compliance.
There is also Report Builder. Report Builder 2.0 came out with SQL Server 2008, which gave Report Builder an Office look and feel. With Kilimanjaro Microsoft is going to expand on Report Builder. With the next release, they plan to add more templates and wizards to make Report Builder an even easier product to use. These additional features will give end users more tools to build their own reports. These additional features will make them even more self-sufficient in building reports for business needs.
What's new in Kilimanjaro for the DBA?
Another aspect of Kilimanjaro will be multi-server administration. This functionality will give DBAs the tools necessary to discover how many SQL Server instances they have in their environment, and the resources those instances are using. DBAs can then use this information to deploy policy based management principles to better administer their instances.
Ive heard there is another project going on called Project Madison. Is this part of Kilimanjaro or will it be a new tool?
Is there a specific audience that will benefit the most from Kilimanjaro?
Will Microsoft be providing Community Technical Previews (CTP) every so often for Kilimanjaro just like was done with Katmai (SQL Server 2008)?
People are still trying to migrate to SQL Server 2005, and now Microsoft has announced the next release of SQL Server. How do you feel companies will react to Microsoft releasing new versions of SQL Server every 2 to 3 years?
What will be the migration paths available from prior releases of SQL Server to Kilimanjaro?
What are your recommendations for how people should prepare for Kilimanjaro? Are there specific things people should do to take advantage of Kilimanjaro shortly after it is released?
How can customers get more information about Kilimanjaro?
With all the Kilimanjaro information Microsoft provides, they are trying to educate us that the next release of SQL Server will become a people business ready environment that provides end user empowerment. Kilimanjaro is focused on providing BI tools for end users and IT, to allow them to exploit end user empowerment. By providing an Excel like tool with Project Gemini, Microsoft provides end users with a tool that should have a minimal learning curve. Leveraging the use of SharePoint encourages users to share their reports. It also provides IT the knowledge of the popular reports that are providing users the information they need to make good business decisions. For the DBAs, there is multi-server management that will help them to minimize the time it takes to manage large number of SQL Servers. My suggestion is to review what the next release of SQL Server has to offer so you can chart your organizations SQL Server implementation road map.