I work for a group where SAS analysis is performed on office laptops. Data is extracted from databases in a server at another building. We have individual SAS licenses for each of these laptops. We're running into issues with querying data from the database. We're exceeding the max query time restrictions that have been set on the DB.
I'm convinced that an analysis server would be a more efficient and more cost effective solution and I need to prepare a justification.
Here are some of my arguments, but I'm interested in more. I also plan on talking to SAS directly, but I'm interested to know about other people's experience transitioning from individual seats to a server solution.
1) Efficiency: An analysis server would be located in the server room. I/O would be greatly improved as a result. Reduced waiting times for data processing would increase productivity and response times. [we have to analyze up to millions of records with sometimes same-day turnaround times].
2) Cost: An appropriately configured analysis server could support 10-15 analysts for less cost than 10-15 individual SAS licences.
3) Reduced load on Network Drives: An analysis server would have dedicated storage space. Space on common network drives would not fill up with analysis data.
4) Maintenance: SAS updates/patches could be better managed on a single server than on 10-15 laptops.
I am a user of SAS on a server who cannot use SAS on a local machine. Several times I did wish for a local license. Don't know all the technical and cost issues, but I'll throw my 2 cents in as a user.
1) Large projects run faster, but small projects can take longer. Considering my datasets, I'm sure I have saved weeks because of the server, yet it seems to know when someone else is watching my computer waiting for the results.
2) Codes with data imports require me to FTP my data to the SAS Server. If someone gives me an updated Excel file every week, I can't put it in My Documents and expect my import to be able to find it. If all your data is on other servers, then you are good.
3) I am in regular contact with my IT department to help me solve various issues that would be easy to solve if I ran SAS locally. The documentation I can understand is usually geared toward local licenses.
4) If the server is down or I am travelling, I am can't even open my SAS data sets.
5) My computer can easily handle being 3 or 4 of the users on the SAS server without any notable issues. Saves a lot of time when I know 1 project will take 5 minutes to process.
6) Microsoft Add-in - Can people use this without a server? Great way to give data to people who barely know Excel.