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rkbright
Obsidian | Level 7
I know I’m late here....but is anyone else excited about the partnership with Azure? Having deployed and maintained a SAS 9.4 instance in AWS, and constantly trying to optimize and bind AWS to disclose how they are supporting SAS operational requirements, I’m so excited to hear that MS will optimize SAS’ needs for running in the cloud!
10 REPLIES 10
SASKiwi
PROC Star

Excitement is not perhaps the word I would choose. Seriously challenging most definitely!

 

But what is I think interesting is that Viya 4 is now the primary technology platform for SAS. Full support for SAS 9 is currently scheduled to finish in 2025 so the expectation is that many SAS customers will have moved to Viya 4 by then.

 

We are looking at such a move ourselves but we are still trying to get our heads around how different Viya 4 on Kubernetes is even compared to earlier Viya. Since Viya 4 was only released in Nov 2020 there are not a lot migration stories out there yet to get a good handle on all of the issues involved.

rkbright
Obsidian | Level 7

Of course, I was not speaking from a place where I am responsible for migrating from 9.4/Viya 3.* to Viya 4. I was only focusing on the benefits of partnering with a CSP that will optimize SAS in the cloud. I migrated a 2k user base from on-prem to AWS and although performance was great at first, we quickly learned of the many pitfalls of running SAS in the cloud - especially on hardware that is not optimized for analytics. My former colleague @CarlZeigler is still living it today! 

SASKiwi
PROC Star

@rkbright  - Thanks for the insights. These are very helpful when making decisions on the future state of our SAS technology.

rkbright
Obsidian | Level 7

I'm sure my good friend @CarlZeigler may have some insights to share :-). 

JackHamilton
Lapis Lazuli | Level 10

It's been obvious for a while that the future of traditional base SAS is not bright, but this is the first time I've seen a specific date.  Where did you learn about it?

 

There are still programming tasks we do that are not directly available in Viya.  Has SAS given a roadmap for how this transition will be handled?  

 

 

SASKiwi
PROC Star

@JackHamilton  - Here is the roadmap of SAS Support Policies.

jcFranklin
SAS Employee

Just to clarify, standard support is scheduled to end for SAS 9.4 & Viya 3.5 and earlier releases in 2025 (after the 5 year grace period that started in 2020). It will then move to limited support until the product is retired. Therefor it will still have support after 2025, but in a limited capacity. https://support.sas.com/en/technical-support/services-policies.html#levels 

JackHamilton
Lapis Lazuli | Level 10

I think I'm confused.  Let me see if I understand this correctly.

 

1) SAS Institute hasn't said whether there will be a SAS 9.5, but suppose there isn't.  Traditional SAS 9.4 will go out of support in 2026, and the only fully-supported product will be SAS Viya.

 

2) In Viya, there are at least 2 different ways to run a data step:

 

a) In the "SAS Client".  This is the same old data step we know and love, with the same statements and formats and functions available, including the data set and file information functions and CALL EXECUTE.

 

b) In a CAS server session

i) Single threaded

ii) Multi-threaded on a single machine

iii) Multi-threaded, distributed across multiple machines

 

These three CAS modes have the same syntax and will produce the same output (except maybe when the output depends on data order, such as with the LAG function or BY groups).

 

Some language elements that work in a SAS client session will not work in a CAS session, but all of the functions and formats that work in a CAS session will work in a client SAS session.  I didn't see any functions marked as CAS-only.

 

The LAG function is allowed in a single-threaded CAS step and will produce the same results as in a traditional data step.  I don't know what will happen if you try to use the LAG function in a multi-threaded CAS data step.

 

BY groups require special consideration when used in a CAS session, but they can be used.

 

I don't know what happens with hash objects, which can but don't necessarily depend on order.

 

3) Those restrictions mean that simple data steps with no order-dependent functions will run unchanged in the traditional data step, the Viya SAS data step, and the Viya CAS data step.  Hurrah!

 

Some more complicated data steps will run with in any mode with only slight changes, and some will run only in the traditional or VIYA SAS data step and would have to be rethought in order to run in a CAS data step. 

 

Writing this down and reviewing the documentation, I see the cause of my confusion.  There are several different kinds of data steps, but the documentation and PR materials don't always do a good job of making it clear what works where. 

 

Hence statements like "These functions/statements/procedures don't work in Viya" are worrisome, but often not true.  It would be better to say "These functions work unchanged between the traditional data step and the Viya SAS client data step, but require code changes, which might be minor, to run in CAS data steps".  

 

There's also the DS2 data step. They're a whole league of different from both traditional data steps and CAS data steps. 

 

 

 

JackHamilton
Lapis Lazuli | Level 10

My first thought was "Does this mean Microsoft is a likely purchaser if SAS Institute goes up for sale after Dr. Goodnight retires?"

 

Microsoft probably has the cash on hand, and I can easily think of worse potential purchasers.

rkbright
Obsidian | Level 7

That is certainly a leading assumption many people have. Anybody able to provide insight? 

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