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MangoJuice Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Overall Costing and Choosing the right service in Power BI

Hi Friends,

 

I have to create a document for IT Director for using Power BI as for visualizing business insight for Executives of the company.

 

As SQL Developer, I am having very limited understanding of H/W and N/W requirements for Power BI.

 

We are considering Tableau and Power BI. I am pretty positive that company will go with Power BI, since the price is cheaper.

 

I would like to just inform you about our current situation.

 

We have CRM Dynamics for Customer Service and day-to-day operation. We also have CRM Nav for all our financial needs. we have application developed inhouse for Payroll which also runs on SQL Data base.

 

Right now CRM Nav and Dynamics they do talk to each other when they have to push billing files and those customer information which they have to bill across NAV and Dynamics. However we are using SSRS reports right now which show information from NAV and Dynamics individually. 

 

We would like to create centralize environment were dynamics, NAV and Payroll DB are at one place (I meant by DW), were Executives can drag and drop certain fields across these three platforms for the report they wish to generate( These business requirements will be predefine based on their needs.). 

 

Since everythign has to be on-premise, nothing that goes on Microsoft cloud for syncronize.

 

I do have couple of basic questions for experts here?

 

  1. What we need to have to use Power BI, in terms of Harware and Networking, specially when we have to use it on Premise?
  2. Is it just $9.99 per users or more?
  3. Can we connect directly to CRM Nav and CRM Dynamics on-premise directly or we have to connect it to SQL DB's and kind of doing ETL, Data Modeling and using fact and dimensions and they put Power BI on top to get the result you want!!

 

I know it's lot of informaiton and might be confusing, but please let me know if you need any other information which will help you to help me.

 

Thanks in Advance.

MangoJuice.

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jayeckles Member
Member

Re: Overall Costing and Choosing the right service in Power BI

1. Your hardware requirements are going to be for your data warehouse, which would be a SQL Server environment or something similar.  At the UT system, we are running our DW on a virtual windows machine with 16 vCPUs and I think 32 GB RAM.  We have dev and test environments with half those resources.  

 

Power BI "On Premise" right now just means using Power BI Desktop, thus the requirements for it are just standard desktop hardware.  I'm not aware of an offering that allows you to run the Power BI app service on prem, though I have heard talk of such.  In the meantime, you could use your SSRS (2016) server to share Power BI .pbix files.  You could also use Sharepoint to display dashboards without anything going off premise.

 

2. Power BI Pro is about $10/user, but it depends on your Microsoft and/or reseller agreement.  Power BI (non-Pro) is free, and I don't know that you would need Pro if you're only using Desktop and not the online service.

 

3. I strongly recommend doing ETL from CRM to SQL Server, model the data, and have Power BI connect to SQL Server, either to the database or to analysis services if you want to model that way.  That said, there are several data connectors in Power BI Desktop, and I'd be surprised if Dynamics wasn't one of them.  There is modeling capability built in to Power BI Desktop, but you have to repeat the model set up for every report you create, which is why I recommend doing it on SQL Server first.

 

In short, I think Power BI is a great presentation layer visualization tool that uses a data warehouse as a source.  I think it makes a poor stand-alone replacement for a data warehouse.

1 REPLY 1
jayeckles Member
Member

Re: Overall Costing and Choosing the right service in Power BI

1. Your hardware requirements are going to be for your data warehouse, which would be a SQL Server environment or something similar.  At the UT system, we are running our DW on a virtual windows machine with 16 vCPUs and I think 32 GB RAM.  We have dev and test environments with half those resources.  

 

Power BI "On Premise" right now just means using Power BI Desktop, thus the requirements for it are just standard desktop hardware.  I'm not aware of an offering that allows you to run the Power BI app service on prem, though I have heard talk of such.  In the meantime, you could use your SSRS (2016) server to share Power BI .pbix files.  You could also use Sharepoint to display dashboards without anything going off premise.

 

2. Power BI Pro is about $10/user, but it depends on your Microsoft and/or reseller agreement.  Power BI (non-Pro) is free, and I don't know that you would need Pro if you're only using Desktop and not the online service.

 

3. I strongly recommend doing ETL from CRM to SQL Server, model the data, and have Power BI connect to SQL Server, either to the database or to analysis services if you want to model that way.  That said, there are several data connectors in Power BI Desktop, and I'd be surprised if Dynamics wasn't one of them.  There is modeling capability built in to Power BI Desktop, but you have to repeat the model set up for every report you create, which is why I recommend doing it on SQL Server first.

 

In short, I think Power BI is a great presentation layer visualization tool that uses a data warehouse as a source.  I think it makes a poor stand-alone replacement for a data warehouse.

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