Buying a PowerPivot Server? Talk to Me First!

PowerPivot Servers - A Joint Collaboration Between Pivotstream and um... a leading technology partner :) PowerPivot *IS* Fast… but takes some tuning

Most of us have seen the demos of 100 million rows in PowerPivot, and slicer clicks taking well under a second against those sources.  Super slick.

And whenever I first load a large data set like that and start working with it, I do indeed experience sub-second response times.  But once I go and build sophisticated measures, and put, say, 5-6 slicers on the report, things start slowing down, sometimes by a lot.

When you think about everything PowerPivot is DOING in those cases, it’s staggering.  But the report consumers don’t care – they want speed, not explanations.

So at Pivotstream, we spend as much effort tuning our models and reports for speed as we do creating them in the first place.  We’ve gotten much better at that over time, so it’s almost second nature to us now.

Multiple Times Faster.  AND More Cost Effective.

The quest for speed didn’t end with our modeling and reporting techniques though.  Remember, we’ve been at this for over a year now, and eventually we started to brainstorm and experiment on hardware platforms.  The results have been surprising – in a very good way.

Being a relatively small company, we needed help in this quest, so we approached a leading technology provider for assistance.  We weren’t sure what sort of response to expect – would they understand / take it seriously / appreciate the opportunity?  And even if so…  would our collaborative investigation yield results?

Yes, yes, yes, and BIG YES.

As a technology professional, this has been one of the most stimulating experiences of my entire career.  Real science fiction, cutting edge experimentation…  which is why for now, I’m going to refer to our partner as Cyberdyne.  (This is all so fresh that there are still some legal details to tidy up before I can disclose their true identity).

Anyway, bottom line:  what we’ve developed is both multiple times faster than off-the-shelf server hardware…  AND at the same time, almost certainly more cost effective.

Take the PowerPivot Pepsi ChallengeOur Version of the Pepsi Challenge :)

I’m quite confident that our Black Box (as we are calling it today) will blow the doors off of literally ANYTHING you can get your hands on through any other channel.

So, before you sink big money into PowerPivot server hardware, talk to me.  There’s a good chance that I can save you a lot of time and money.

3 Responses to Buying a PowerPivot Server? Talk to Me First!

  1. Meta Brown says:

    “speed, not explanations”

    That’s an IT mantra, right there. Or it oughta be.

  2. Bas Kroes says:

    Any idea how this will relate in speed compared to HP’s Business Decision appliance?

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