A partition is a logical and physical segmentation of the data in a cube. Recall that OLAP data is defined as detail rows and any associated aggregations for data retrieved from a particular source fact table. Partitions are created to make management and maintenance of cube data easier. Importantly, partitions can be processed and queried in parallel. Here are some more specific examples:

  • Scalability. Partitions can be located in different physical locations, even on different physical servers.

  • Availability. Configuring processing settings on a per-partition basis can speed up cube processing. Cubes can be unavailable for browsing during processing, depending on the type of processing that is being done. (We’ll say more about this ...

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