Las Vegas Sands Corp. needed a world-class enterprise data platform for a new destination resort in Singapore. After researching data warehouses, it chose the Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse. Pretested HP hardware configurations sped deployment, and the solution offers access to integrated customer data, which helps the company target its marketing messages. High scalability prepares the company for further growth. Business Needs
Las Vegas Sands, a leading international developer of multiuse integrated resorts, owns and operates properties in the United States and Asia. In late 2006, Las Vegas Sands began construction of Marina Bay Sands, a U.S.$5.5 billion resort in Singapore. The property, which opened in April 2010, offers 2,600 hotel rooms, meeting and convention facilities, more than 350 retail shops, live entertainment, and many fine and casual dining options.
||Out of everything my department worked on to prepare for the resort opening, deploying SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse required the smallest team and was the simplest process by far.
Executive Director of Enterprise Architecture and Development
Las Vegas Sands
Las Vegas Sands sought to improve its use of customer data at the new property. “We wanted to get our data out of silos so that we could be more adept at identifying profitable opportunities, anticipating customer needs, and improving our service,” says Jordan Zommick, Executive Director of Enterprise Architecture and Development for Las Vegas Sands. “For Marina Bay Sands, we were looking for a true enterprise data platform that would leave us room to grow.”
The new solution needed to provide improved visibility of customers and access to powerful business intelligence tools, yet remain easy for business departments to use. In addition to being highly scalable and reliable, the solution also had to offer fast deployment: by the time the data-platform project received funding, less than six months remained before the new resort’s opening day.Solution
After evaluating several off-the-shelf data-warehousing products, Las Vegas Sands decided to use Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse. “We selected SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse because we wanted the performance of a data-warehouse appliance product without the cost,” says Zommick. “Our users are very familiar with Microsoft technologies, so we knew there would be rapid adoption of the Microsoft business intelligence tools that would be part of the solution.”
With the SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse, Las Vegas Sands was able to choose from among a variety of predefined architectures tested by Microsoft in collaboration with industry-leading hardware and systems-integration partners to match different workloads. Las Vegas Sands adopted an underlying architecture that includes HP ProLiant DL380 G6 server computers with Fibre Channel switches and two HP StorageWorks 2000fc G2 Modular Smart Arrays providing usable data storage of 4 terabytes. Working closely with Microsoft Services, the company deployed the new hardware during one week in March 2010.
The solution uses Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services to extract and load data into the warehouse, which runs on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise data management software. Robert Norris, Director of Data Management at Las Vegas Sands, led the implementation of the data warehouse. Norris and his team used Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services to create multidimensional data structures joining many large tables containing data from the more than three dozen business units operating at Marina Bay Sands. The solution exposes these structures to SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, which deliver business information to users through scoreboards and dashboards.Benefits
By selecting a SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse running on an HP platform, Marina Bay Sands benefited from a fast, low-cost deployment that provides high levels of efficiency, insight, and control. The highly scalable solution will help Marina Bay Sands improve its marketing capabilities and is already exceeding the company’s performance requirements.Fast Deployment
With the Microsoft solution, Marina Bay Sands was able launch its enterprise data platform in time for the property’s April opening, despite an extremely tight schedule, ongoing construction, and limited availability of key personnel. “Because of the predefined architecture of SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse, our hardware deployment took only a few days,” says Zommick. “Out of everything my department worked on to prepare for the resort opening, deploying SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse required the smallest team and was the simplest process by far. Because Microsoft and HP have already tested this configuration for workloads like ours, we know we won’t have to buy something new in three months.”Improved Marketing Capabilities
Rather than use a large team of marketing analysts, Las Vegas Sands wanted to partner with IT staff to deliver a comprehensive marketing platform. Zommick says that the new solution will help Marina Bay Sands achieve this goal by helping the company do more with less. “Instead of our analysts spending their time collecting and massaging data from many systems, with SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse they can now focus their energy on exploring the data and defining value quickly.” This improved capability comes at a fraction of the cost of the third-party solutions that the company’s competitors rely on. “Off-the-shelf data-warehouse appliances are expensive up front and often require purchasing development assistance and support from the vendor,” says Zommick. “With SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse, we can keep our cost of ownership lower and more predictable by taking advantage of commodity hardware and software.”High Performance
Marina Bay Sands is pleased with the performance of the new solution. “So far, it’s working better than advertised,” says Norris. “Our users have not encountered any slowdowns in performance, even though they are already making very complex queries.”Strong Scalability
The scalability of the new solution is another benefit. “With SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse, we’ve found an architecture platform that we are comfortable deploying not only at Marina Bay Sands but also at all of the other Las Vegas Sands properties,” says Zommick. “We anticipate huge data growth across all of our properties, and SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse gives us confidence that we can meet any scalability needs that arise.” This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.