03-30-2012 10:29 AM
I am in the process of determining the best way to run SAS Business Analytics for 4 users working on very sensitive medicare data (NIST security requirements).
I began considering VMware VDI or Terminal Serives (RDS) because I could use a thin client with no hard drive or USB access for the the users.
The other benefit for me regarding virtualization is snapshots of VM's and the possibility of HA if needed.
Also, this organization may want to deploy 2 more server and I think virtualization would allows us to do that without buying new hardware.
Has anyone else deployed SAS using VDI or RDS? Would you recommend it vs a simple file share and desktop installation?
04-12-2012 04:26 PM
I have worked with quite a few organizations that implement all sort of desktop virtualization products. The gains in terms of systems maintenance and admin are huge as they usually have large numbers of users. Local installs over network or by walking around with a dvd or usb stick are behind us. Also it becomes more and more "not done" to provide people with the local admin rights on workstations to install things. Depending on your other duties I think that even with 4 people you can save a lot of headaches and money by using such an approach. Just think of SAS hotfixes and upgrades, new users, hardware failures and upgrades. I think I don't need to spell it out.
Do mind the official SAS statement on virtualization at http://support.sas.com/techsup/pcn/virtualization.html. Support is limited to certain providers and technologies. They just don't have the time or means to test all their software on the growing number of possible permutations of products on the market. If it's not supported doesn't mean it won't work. But your mileage may vary. SAS may ask you to replicate a problem on bare metal if you have a problem. And you have a burden to test it thoroughly during deployment. But if it does work the benefits are plenty and your boss will love you for it.