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Data warehouse maintenance

One of our clients has asked if we can provide some organizational and operational best practices for their IT department focused on operating and maintaining the physical data warehouse. Do you have any recommended white papers, websites, material etc that you could refer us to? There is a myriad of information about DW best practices related to the "logical" establishment -- ETL, OLAP, Source systems etc. There seems to be a lack of information related to the managing the physical/operational side. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

This is an interesting observation. You are correct. It's something that the literature goes much lighter on. It certainly is viewed as more exciting and interesting to be designing and developing the data warehouse as opposed to operating one.

I have a white paper on my site at http://www.mcknight-associates.com/sectionsmain/downloadmain3.asp (free registration required) on "Effective Data Warehouse Organizational Roles and Responsibilities" that may help. It describes roles through production and beyond, but it's not focused on operating and maintaining, but since you mentioned organizational best practices, I thought I'd mention this paper. Otherwise, I'm not specifically aware of anything.

The idea, of course, with operating and maintaining is "lights out" or little intervention required if a proper design and development job was done, but monitoring of query and load performance, disk utilization, query numbers by type of query, session times, table rows, user counts, change requests, ROI and subjective measures like satisfaction surveys, etc. are all essential.

If anybody reading this is aware of more focused papers, please let me know and I'll post it here.

For more information, check out SearchCRM's Best Web Links on Data Warehousing.

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