Hardware and operating systems make up the computing environment for your data warehouse. All the data extraction, transformation, integration, and staging jobs run on the selected hardware under the chosen operating system. When you transport the consolidated and integrated data from the staging area to your data warehouse repository, you make use of the server hardware and the operating system software. When the queries are initiated from the client workstations, the server hardware, in conjunction with the database software, executes the queries and produces the results.

Here are some general guidelines for hardware selection, not entirely specific to hardware for the data warehouse.

Scalability. When your data warehouse grows in terms of the number of users, the number of queries, and the complexity of the queries, ensure that your selected hardware could be scaled up.

Support. Vendor support is crucial for hardware maintenance. Make sure that the support from the hardware vendor is at the highest possible level.

Vendor Reference. It is important to check vendor references with other sites using hardware from this vendor. You do not want to be caught with your data warehouse being down because of hardware malfunctions when the CEO wants some critical analysis to be completed.

Vendor Stability. Check on the stability and staying power of the vendor.

Next let us quickly consider a few general criteria for the selection of the operating system. ...

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