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With operations in 89 countries, Microsoft is the largest software company in the world with revenue of more than USD 50 billion in the year 2006. Like other large organizations, the company requires a repository of data to help it better track its business and to analyze customer needs. Microsoft IT group identified a need for creating a centralized data repository that would begin with FeedStore data and go even further, adding information from customer relationship management, finance applications, and a range of other sources to create an enterprise data warehouse (EDW). The organization created its EDW using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition database software, running on the Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition operating system. The company needed a rock solid database that could support the 2.5 terabyte size and provide scalability for what is anticipated to be a 10-terabyte EDW within the first 12 months of deployment. The EDW solution also makes extensive use of SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. First introduced with SQL Server 2005, and enhanced for SQL Server 2008, Integration Services provides enterprise-grade tools for creating and managing extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes. Microsoft IT used SQL Server 2008 Integration Services to create an internal tool, called METaL, for automating much of the process of creating new ETL packages.
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