Today at SQL PASS, Dell and Microsoft announced a new set of Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing solutions. They include a stack of server hardware, storage arrays, operating system, database and analytics software, management and reporting tools. The entire solution is based on the hardware and software many customers are using right now.

What is really cool about these offerings is they answer the oft-asked question: “what sort of hardware do I need for my DW/BI project?”: Three reference configurations have been created: one terabyte, two terabyte and four terabyte systems for data warehousing databases using SQL Server 2005. Dell and Microsoft worked together to execute various tests and analyze performance results of a sample business intelligence and data warehousing system under load. The testing was designed to validate the platforms for business intelligence and data warehousing, to provide the stability and performance of the hardware systems, and to define the reference configurations I mentioned earlier.

From what I understand, we’ll essentially be including all the goodness in the SQL 2005 BI stack + ProClarity. Now that PerformancePoint 2007 is upon us, the offering will be reconfigured to include PPS at some point in the near future.

More official details should be available at www.dell.com/bi http://www.dell.com/sqlbi a little later today. It doesn't seem like the site is up yet, however.

Update:

Here is a link to the actual 1/2/4 TB reference configuration to see how they did it:

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/sitelets/solutions/software/db/microsoft_sql_2005_pr?c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz

 ...and another to an article on this event:

http://informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201808018