I've come to the conclusion that storing rasters in a database is of dubious value, particularly from a data warehouse perspective.

If you manage a collection of rasters that are updated on a frequent basis, storing them in a relational database with ArcSDE quickly becomes a pain. I'm not talking about a dozen or so rasters, but rather tens of thousands. The overhead of the database and middleware just doesn't seem to be worth it.

A better solution is to use MapServer with a tile index (created using gdaltindex) to serve them to your desktop clients via WMS. Fast, simple, and easy to update and manage.