Architecting, installing and maintaining your SAS environment

Benefits of SAS server

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Contributor
Posts: 41
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Benefits of SAS server

Hello,

 

I'm currently working on a local SAS session (Windows PC SAS) and we will probably switch on SAS Server.

 

I haven't worked sofar on SAS server so the pros and cons of switching are not very clear. 

 

In my point of view there are two great benefits :

- Storage

- sharing reports with colleagues who don't know SAS (prompts with stored process for example)

 

We still don't have a need of real time processing, so may be a SSD disk can be sufficient to accelerate I/O processing.

 

I'am conscious that it depends on our needs and requirements,but sharing your experience of shifting from local SAS to server will be really helpful !

 

Thanks !

 

 


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‎01-09-2017 04:29 AM
SAS Employee
Posts: 18

Re: Benefits of SAS server

Hi majdi_ka,

 

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said <<I'am conscious that it depends on our needs and requirements>>. The more detailed you can provide around your requirements the better the informed responses you will get from the community. Think about the types of SAS processing, the integration points with third party applications and the numbers of concurrent users etc.

 

That said using a server (compared to several PC instances) with the correct SAS software and license:

 

  • supports multiple users;
  • can minimize data transfers across the network;
  • can centralize the administration of the SAS footprint;

http://support.sas.com/resources/papers/proceedings13/475-2013.pdf

 

I'm sure if you contact your local SAS account manager they'd be very happy to discuss with you the options given your busines and non-functional requirements.

 

--Simon

 

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‎01-09-2017 04:29 AM
SAS Employee
Posts: 18

Re: Benefits of SAS server

Hi majdi_ka,

 

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said <<I'am conscious that it depends on our needs and requirements>>. The more detailed you can provide around your requirements the better the informed responses you will get from the community. Think about the types of SAS processing, the integration points with third party applications and the numbers of concurrent users etc.

 

That said using a server (compared to several PC instances) with the correct SAS software and license:

 

  • supports multiple users;
  • can minimize data transfers across the network;
  • can centralize the administration of the SAS footprint;

http://support.sas.com/resources/papers/proceedings13/475-2013.pdf

 

I'm sure if you contact your local SAS account manager they'd be very happy to discuss with you the options given your busines and non-functional requirements.

 

--Simon

 

Contributor
Posts: 41

Re: Benefits of SAS server

Simon,

 

Thanks for your answer.

 

In fact I looked for some papers talking about local vs server, and server benefits but I didn't find much about the topic. That's why I found your paper very helpful.

 

We will meet the account manager soon, I was just curious about the Server's benefits and why not feedback from someone who shifted from local to server.

 

Thx again

 

 

Super User
Posts: 3,106

Re: Benefits of SAS server

Perhaps one of the reasons why you haven't found many papers on this topic is that usually the main driver for local SAS versus server SAS is pricing. For small SAS sites in small companies local SAS may be the most cost effective solution.

 

However once you get to a certain size and number of users server SAS becomes more economical and the benefits of sharing SAS resources, data, applications become so much more compelling. I'm wondering if you have reached that point where it is almost a "no-brainer".

Contributor
Posts: 31

Re: Benefits of SAS server

[ Edited ]

I was about to ask the same question.
My company is considering aquiring a SAS server - so they asked me why they should...and I can't really answer them. I've also found information on the topic very limited. However, it comes down to your needs and requirments.

Having an existing MS SQL data warehouse with Excel, SAS & SSMS reading data off that, I don't quite see the benifits of having a dedicated SAS server? I am probably ignorant (but it is bliss is not?) Please enlighten me...

 

GD

Super User
Posts: 3,106

Re: Benefits of SAS server

So what is it about the benefits discussed above that you don't understand? Why not ask the question why do you have a server-based MS SQL data warehouse rather than each user having their own copy? The same benefits apply to centralised SAS as apply to having a central data warehouse.

 

If you have a need to share centralised data (act as an analytical data warehouse) and improve processing performance and capability, as well as being more cost-effective for larger groups of users, then a server-based solution provides that. 

Super User
Posts: 6,936

Re: Benefits of SAS server


GenDemo wrote:

I was about to ask the same question.
My company is considering aquiring a SAS server - so they asked me why they should...and I can't really answer them. I've also found information on the topic very limited. However, it comes down to your needs and requirments.

Having an existing MS SQL data warehouse with Excel, SAS & SSMS reading data off that, I don't quite see the benifits of having a dedicated SAS server? I am probably ignorant (but it is bliss is not?) Please enlighten me...

 

GD


As soon as you have N SAS users, where N > 1, you should switch to a server.

Reduces licensing and maintenance cost (with emphasis on maintenance cost)

And MS SQL + Excel does NOT constitute a data warehouse. Excel is utter crap for business intelligence.

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Maxims of Maximally Efficient SAS Programmers
Contributor
Posts: 31

Re: Benefits of SAS server

[ Edited ]

All the 'answers' above illustrate exactly my problem - you are not answering the question.

It seems that many of you are posing the questing "why do I need a server (SQL or SAS)?". That is not my question. I am seeking a comparison between using MS SQL server vs SAS Server (also considering the SAS Server is an add-on)?

is it for example:

1) user base? considering a group of less than 10 users

2) cost? considering a MS SQL servcer is already in use.

3) processsing power on a server, vs processing on a local machine for modelling?

4) sharing data? considering a MS SQL server is already in use.

5) using automated analytical tools and SAS packages?

6) shcheduling jobs? how is this different to having a virtual machine or standalone machine to schedule the jobs on?

Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,141

Re: Benefits of SAS server

Hi,

 

I would say that in your case, the benefit would be the data analysis and the Business Intelligence.

While SAS is not a relational database, but a tool to analyse the data, MS SQL is not for data analysis but for data storage and querying data.

 

It might be also that the benefit in your case would be one of the solutions provided by SAS. A good example is SAS Visual Analytics for reporting and exploring data, but SAS also provides dozens of powerful solutions  for dozens of business challenges.

Contributor
Posts: 31

Re: Benefits of SAS server

Thnx I think this is the first good & relevant response.
Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,141

Re: Benefits of SAS server

Pleasure!

 

Maybe next time it might be interesting to create a separated thread, since the detailed question is different, while the short question might be formulated exactly the same ("Benefits of SAS Server" ). 

I don't know what created confussion in other colleagues, but surely that was the main reason of a wrong answer on my side (my excuses).

 

Thank you.

Contributor
Posts: 31

Re: Benefits of SAS server

Wisdom!
Yeah perhaps I misunderstood the initial purpose of the thread...
Super User
Posts: 5,256

Re: Benefits of SAS server

As stated earlier in this thread it depends on your requirements (and constraints).
A SAS server could be beneficial if you have many SAS users, and wish to share the work you do in SAS in a structured way.
Data never sleeps
Contributor
Posts: 41

Re: Benefits of SAS server

Thanks again for your answers.

 

You all mentioned the number of SAS users and sharing work between users as main benefits of SAS Server.

But what about having models in production. aren't automating, scheduling and sequencing calculations as important as the other points?
(excuse my English)

 

Thanks

Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,141

Re: Benefits of SAS server

Hi @majdi_ka,

 

I think all of those are important too. It is important all what is important to you and your business.

What is more important: what can make the life easier to you and make a better process? How can you reduce your budget on current tasks to spend more time/budget on new items?

 

All os the items mentioned above, and yours, can be done without a server, of course. But they require more time, resources, management/administration, etc, favouring human error. A client-server architecture can help to reduce a huge amount of human effort,iimprove quality and reduce the waiting time for outputs.

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