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Working with Remote Partitions

SQL Server 2005

Remote partitions for a database, called the master database, are stored in a dedicated Analysis Services database on the remote instance of Analysis Services, called the secondary database. A data source in the master database points to the secondary database, and a data source in the secondary database points to the master database.

The remote instance of Analysis Services sets the MasterDataSourceID property on the secondary database to this data source. This dedicates the data source for storing remote partitions for that particular source database. If the MasterDataSourceID property on a database is not null, the database is defined to contain remote partitions and is no longer exposed in any schema rowset.

A dedicated database can store remote partitions for one and only one master database. However, you can store different remote partitions from a single master database in different dedicated databases on a single remote instance of Analysis Services. Dimensions in a database dedicated to remote partitions are created as linked dimensions.

You must use the Surface Area Configuration tools to enable remote partitions to be linked to a master database. For more information, see Surface Area Configuration for Features (Linked Objects) - Analysis Services and How to: Define a Remote Partition.

You create a remote partition using the Partition Wizard. When you create a remote partition, you specify the dedicated database on the remote instance of Analysis Services as the location for the partition. You can store the partition in the default data location for the remote instance of Analysis Services, or in another specified location on the remote server. For more information, see Creating and Managing a Remote Partition.

A cube that contains remote partitions can be administered together with its partitions on a single instance of Analysis Services. However, the metadata for the remote partition can be viewed and updated only on the instance of Analysis Services where the partition and its parent cube were defined. The remote partition cannot be viewed or updated on the remote instance of Analysis Services. Analysis Services does not support creation of remote partitions by using the HTTP protocol.

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Although databases dedicated to storage of remote partitions are not exposed to schema rowsets, applications that use Analysis Management Objects (AMO) can still discover a dedicated database by using the XML for Analysis Discover command. Any CREATE or DELETE command that is sent directly to a dedicated database by using a TCP or HTTP client will succeed, but the server will return a warning indicating that the action may damage this closely managed database.

To create a remote partition, you must be a database administrator for the local database where the partition is defined. The service account for the instance of Analysis Services on which the cube and its partitions are defined must have administrator access to the database where the partition is stored. If the Analysis Services service account changes, you must make sure that the new account has administrator access to the remote database. For more information about administrator permissions for a database, see Roles (Analysis Services).

Analysis Services supports both parallel and sequential processing of remote partitions. The master instance, where the partitions were defined, coordinates the transactions among all the instances that participate in processing the partitions of a cube. Processing reports are then sent to all instances that processed a partition.

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