Business Intelligence in every LAN

I like Business Intelligence repositories hooked up in Local Area Networks not in Wide Area Networks. There is many good reasons for this, even in this day and age with global communications we have to consider bandwidth. According to Albert Einstein it will always be faster to send information 50 meters than across the world. And more important LAN access will not only provide faster response, but also more secure and consistent response times.
The best reason though - it’s a cool concept  - Business Intelligence in every LAN.

Cool concept

I designed our Business Intelligence system The Data Warehouse so it is
practically possible to implement a satellite in every LAN. It must be dirt
cheap to install a satellite system otherwise it will never happen. Just try to
tell the guys with the money
‘we need to invest +100,000€, so the production planners in the far away workshop can have decent response times for their what-if-analysis’ . That will never happen, maybe for the financial guys, but never for the production people. ( Business Intelligence  is more than financial analyses, this is often overlooked.) But if the satellite system costs less than 2000€, there is a better chance for the investment of a satellite.

Simple operations

It is also of great importance the operations of the satellite is simple. In an ideal
world you should only fire it up once and forget about it. In the real world
however it is not so simple, there are power outages, earthquakes and many other
unpleasanties that actually happen. But supervision and operations intervention
must be kept to a minimum. Very important.
The satellite is still not operational, but I have an idea how to set up a simple, effective and self-healing  replication between Osaka and Stockholm. You can cut corners with Business Intelligence systems. E.g. Business Intelligence data is mostly updated in controlled batch jobs, which implies replication can be done in controlled  background jobs,no need for continuous instant replication.
A Business Intelligence system done right can be down, it should not be necessary to have it online 24X7. The ERP systems probably have to be up 24X7, but not the BI system. This is one of the great things working with BI, you do not have to go up and fix problems in the middle of the night, it can wait until the morning :-)  I have spent many nights in server rooms (and outside) fixing urgent ERP problems, and that is not fun.
Rsync and MySQL
You want to initiate the Business Intelligence replication from the master system when
time is due, but the satellite system should decide where the data should go. The
replication should also be simple, fast and self-healing. And of course you need a backup.
I think I found a very nice way to achieve this by using Rsync and MySQL MyISAM databases and a little bit of bash shell programming. If I fail, I may have some explaining to do. I have already told my bosses I have a working solution, so they probably want to know why it do not work. I will post the details in a coming post .

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