Three hardware vendors and Microsoft have develop a set of configurations to provide customers with a faster, less expensive path to creating data warehouses, called SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse. The offering comes from the DataAllegro acquistion. Preconfigured hardware from Bull, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard is designed to let you build data warehouses for as little as $13,000 per terabyte.

The configurations provide a appliance-like experience for data warehousing. Hardware vendors will offer seven configurations, or "reference architectures," for data warehouses ranging from 4 TB to 32 TB. Data warehouses built on these hardware/software platforms will scale up to 32 TB and will fit into Microsoft's vision for Madison, which is to create data warehouses that can "scale out" to hundreds of terabytes, adding more server boxes as needed.

Project Madison is Microsoft’s collaborative hardware and software solution for high-end data warehousing. Capitalizing on DATAllegro’s unique approach to the data warehouse appliance and the hub-and-spoke architecture, Madison uses the concept of Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) to dramatically accelerate performance and scalability, while operating on industry standard hardware to keep costs low.

For more information about data warehousing best practices, see Best Practices for Data Warehousing with SQL Server 2008. For more information about the announcement, see Microsoft Announces SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse. More information about purchasing a SQL Server 2008 license is available at SQL Server 2998 How to Buy.