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Datawarehouse Versus Operational DB

Can anyone explain how they would decide if accessing data directly from an operational database would have severe performance penalty and therefore bulld a data warehouse?


if I knew that there would be lots of concurrent users hammering the server with requests for resource-intensive reports such as large crosstab reports (for more info on what affects performance please see this performance guide) and the server wasn't that new then I would definitely go for a data warehouse.

Another consideration to keep in mind is that if you think there will be a lot of complex reports then these can be more easily created if extra calculations are added to the data warehouse via the ETL process.