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What Do I Need to Know About Kubernetes for Administering SAS® Viya®? Q&A, Slides, and On-Demand Recording

Started ‎12-10-2021 by
Modified ‎01-28-2022 by
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Watch this Ask the Expert session to learn how Kubernetes and SAS Viya intersect, especially in the areas of administration and deployment. 


Watch the webinar


You will learn:

  • How running SAS in Kubernetes does not change everything about administering SAS Viya.
  • Which administration tasks require interacting with Kubernetes directly and which do not.
  • An overview of the SAS Viya deployment process using kustomize and kubectl commands.
  • The process of manipulating YAML files and applying changes with kustomize and kubectl commands.


The questions from the Q&A segment held at the end of the webinar are listed below and the slides from the webinar are attached. We are still working on answers to a few of the questions and will post them soon.



Does SAS Viya 4 also use Ansible Tower and Playbooks as SAS Viya 3.5? Does Ansible still play a role in deployment and management of the services?

Not in the same way, no. In Viya 3.5 we used Ansible to do the actual deployment, driven by an inventory file and playbooks. To deploy Viya 4 you need to either use the manual tools (Kustomize and kubectl) or the deployment operator. In Viya 4 you can still use Ansible if you've got tasks that you want to design and automate. For example, the SAS Viya 4 Deployment project on Github ( uses Ansible to manually deploy Viya 4. This is an example of using Ansible on top of the manual deployment tools Kustomize and kubectl but Ansible is not a replacement for those tools.


Is the SAS Enterprise Session Monitor (ESM) still supported withing a Kubernetes Viya deployment?

I believe that SAS ESM is still only supported on SAS 9 and Viya 3.x.


How are multiple tenants supported?

That is an evolving story. Until very recently, multiple tenants would literally just be a new namespace with a new Viya 4 deployment. Starting with the 2021.1.6 stable release, we now have a multi-tenancy option that includes shared mid-tier services, shared applications, but separate CAS servers. You can find more details in the documentation: Please be sure to select the appropriate version in the drop down list at the top of the documentation page.


What is the minimum number of VMs required for a minimum MMP Viya 2021 env.?

Unfortunately, I have to say it depends because it depends on the nature of the VM, the size of the VM. It depends on the software that you've included in your order. There are general virtual machine recommendations for the different cloud providers we support in the documentation: General sizing recommendations:

For sizing recommendations specific to your site, please contact SAS.


Will my CLI script still work?

If you use the sas-admin CLI scripts from Viya 3.5, the syntax is almost exactly the same except for the name change to sas-viya. sas-viya actually also incorporate the separate CLIs we had for Model Manager, RTDM and so on in Viya 3.x. I recommend testing your CLI scripts but I think for at least the majority of it, it should be pretty much the same.


Is there an update on having an on-premise option for Viya 4?

The first option along those lines is RedHat OpenShift on VM Ware came out with stable release 2021.1.6. You can find information about this in the documentation: There will be more options in the future.


How are licenses managed?

I'm not entirely sure what managed means, but you still get a license with your order and it still gets applied to your software. Otherwise I would say I need more details or look at the documentation for possibly the answer to what you need.


If Kubernetes collapses, then will our SAS Viya services also start to fail?



Can we deploy to our own collection of VMs (we have vSphere resources)?

RedHat OpenShift on VM Ware came out with stable release 2021.1.6. You can find information about this in the documentation:


Can you utilize Azure Data Lake Gen 2 with Viya 4.0?

I believe so. Here is the documentation:


Are licenses based on per user or per environment basis?

We've got a couple of choices depending on the software you are licensing. It is typically per CAS core but some specific software offerings have alternative options like per user.


Deleting pods means restarting pods, but we will lose all information and logs located in the pods. Is this a problem?

If you delete a pod, you typically lose everything within the pod. If you are relying on the pod logs, yes, they are gone as well, but if you set in place the logging infrastructure like from the SAS Viya monitoring for Kubernetes project, then the logs might lose a couple messages, but most of your logs should be stored within Elasticsearch and still available for searching. If you keep storage within your pod, you could potentially lose stuff there as well. So, that's part of the storage story with Kubernetes is you want to consider what needs to be stored outside of a pod, and that's where persistent volumes and persistent volume claims come into play for the information that you want to persist.


Are we going to leverage openshift capabilties along with Kubernetes?

RedHat OpenShift on VM Ware came out with stable release 2021.1.6. You can find information about this in the documentation: So yes, we are integrating with OpenShift.  


Are customers expected to manually edit YAML files or will we have a guided experience?

Right now it's manual, but as I said, there are examples under sas-bases directory. The YAML files are typically pretty straightforward and very specific, so you won't have a hard time understanding what they're doing, but they also tend to include either comments within its files or readme file in the same directory that will give you more details. And of course there's more in the documentation as well. So, no guided experience right now, but that's certainly something that people are asking for, so keep asking and that will increase the likelihood that it will happen sooner rather than later.


Can you describe the staffing needs to maintain a SAS Viya deployment?

Unfortunately, that's another “it depends” question. You basically need someone who can handle the Kubernetes side of things and the SAS Viya side of things. What that is exactly will depend on whether you use Kubernetes for any other software. It depends how large your infrastructure is, how many users you have on the SAS Viya aside, do you have 10 users or do you have 10,000 users. It's a good question. I don't have a specific answer, unfortunately.


How do you make SAS programs or other permanent files stored on the filesystem available to Viya folders? I assume this is related to having persistent-volume.

According to the documentation: When you initially install SAS Studio, the file system is temporary, so users do not see a file system in the Explorer section of the navigation pane. The SAS Studio administrator and the Kubernetes administrator need to create persistent file storage.


Does SAS Viya support SAS Customer Intelligence 360 solution?

SAS CI 360 is currently being offered as a metered SaaS solution on Viya 4.


Does Viya 4 use Rest APIs to connect with Python?

I believe that the way you connect Python to Viya 4 has not changed from previous releases.


Is Viya 2021 supported for RHEL/Openshift on IBM POWER 9 hardware now?

RedHat OpenShift on VM Ware came out with stable release 2021.1.6. You can find information about this in the documentation:


Elasticsearch used for logging is not part of a Viya deployment ('depot')? Does this need to be provided apart from the Viya deployment?

We actually do have an Elasticsearch included in our deployment for some of our software but not for logging. If you go to use the GitHub project called SAS Viya Monitoring for Kubernetes (, it has its own separate Elasticsearch instance. That project will show you how to do the installation of it and it will set up and download its own Elasticsearch instance.


What are the major challenges you see when deploying Viya 4 on AWS/Azure?

I can only speak for me personally. Honestly, I haven't really dealt with a lot of customers and I think most customers doing this get a lot of help from SAS folks. We do have some tools. We have an infrastructure as code tool for each cloud provider that is a great way to start on a cloud host like Azure because that tool, again provided by SAS in GitHub, will actually set up the infrastructure for you, so you don't have to worry about setting up node pools and all that. That set of code will do it for you. So, as long as you're going with that code and you've done your homework, it's not too bad. If you want to build out all the pieces yourself, that definitely takes a lot of knowledge of not just Kubernetes, but Azure-specific, how to use resources… What's interesting is if you move from Azure to Google, it's a similar concept, but again, the world is a little different. Things are managed a little differently. Once you have the infrastructure, the deployment basically, you just have to get the files like sas-bases and make sure your deployment has access to download the containers either from a mirror from SAS. But those concepts aren't Azure specific necessarily, so infrastructure as code and then fairly standard deployment.


Are there any recommended client editor or IDE for YAML/K8s work?

For YAML, I like Visual Studio Code, but I haven't tried many others. That one is nice because it visually shows you the indentation, which is probably the most important thing about your YAML syntax, so that I find really helpful in Visual Studio Code. But there are many others. There are also tools that will verify your YAML syntax, like YAMLLINT, but again, there are many of those. So, no specific choice. Those are just the two that I tend to use.


Does SAS Viya have information maps?

No, we have not had information maps since we moved to Viya honestly.


How do you configure SAS/ACCESS in Viya 4 and also Oracle DB?

That’s a good question that would take me a good afternoon to show you how to do that, but it is all documented. You still need to have the drivers and the configuration and all that kind of stuff, so part of the process is still making that available to your environment. According to the documentation the sas-bases files are the best place to go for information:


To configure and deploy your SAS/ACCESS products, see the “Configuring SAS/ACCESS and Data Connectors for Viya 4” README file at $deploy/sas-bases/examples/data-access/ (for Markdown) or $deploy/sas-bases/docs/configuring_sasaccess_and_data_connectors_for_sas_viya_4.htm (for HTML).


How do I start and stop services in SAS Viya 4?

There are a few different answers depending on exactly which type of service you want to start and stop.

For information on how to start and stop most pods you would scale the deployment (Kubernetes term) that controls the pod. You will need to also be aware of the Horizontal Pod Autoscaler settings.

The CAS server is different because it is controlled by an operator. So in order to start or stop the CAS server you have to change properties of the operator. An operator is a Kubernetes concept – basically another pod that controls the CAS server.

The infrastructure servers like the SAS Configuration Server also have their on steps for scaling down and up.


What tools can I use for logging and monitoring in SAS Viya 4?

You can use the SAS Viya Monitoring for Kubernetes project

You can also use your cloud provider’s tools for logging and monitoring, or build your own logging and monitoring solution with the tools you want.


Where can I find documentation and examples of yaml files for administration tasks?

The best place to find the yaml file examples is in the sas-bases directory you get when you download your order from SAS. The directory includes sample yaml files as well as files to explain how to use them.


I missed the bit about what to do/what happens after a pod is deleted- how to restart the pod?

You don’t need to do anything. Kubernetes will automatically restart the pod for you because it continually tries to maintain the state you declared in your site.yaml file.


Please give more details about persistency of any components on deployment.

The biggest area to consider with persistence is storage. In Kubernetes you can have storage at the container level which is gone if the container goes away. You can have storage within a pod (volumes) or outside of the pod (persistent volumes). There many different storage types available for both volumes and persistent volumes. Some storage types will even survive the demise of a pod. For example, if you use nfs type storage for a volume, the content in nfs is not deleted if the pods goes away. Instead, the storage is simply unmounted from the pod.

Other things like pod names might change whenever a pod is restarted but knowing the exact pod name or IP address is actually not necessary if you use Kubernetes services.


Do you have a video with each step to deploy a Viya 4 ecosystem in SMP and MMP?

I am not aware of a video on that specific topic, sorry.


Using CLI on Viya 3.5 I automated some tasks to create folders and CAS tables.

You can still do that in Viya 4 with the sas-viya CLI.


The services mentioned in the presentation (around the context of restarting) is different from kubernetes services, yeah? If so, we should be deleting the pods and not the services? (Just need a clarification)

On the slide, the term service was referring to a SAS service or SAS server which are deployed as pods in Viya 4. We do make use of Kubernetes services in Viya 4 but that was not what was being referenced on that slide. Thank you for asking for the clarification.


Migration improvement with SAS 9.4  to Viya 4 vs 9.4 to Viya 3.5?

I recommend taking a look at the SAS Content Assessment tools if you have not already. The documentation also has a good overview of the process.

For more resources, including videos, check out


Is there a programming only deployment in Viya 4?

In Viya 3.5 you could opt to only deploy the programming pieces of your order. You cannot do that in Viya 4 but we do have an offering which is intended to be primarily for programmers, SAS Data Science Programming. This offering includes a limited set of web applications.


In Viya 3.5 we do not customize SAS installation & configuration path, does in SAS Viya customize SAS installation & configuration path?

In a sense, the concept of an installation and configuration path has completely changed in Viya 4. Within the pods, there are in some cases directories that are similar to what would have been an installation or configuration directory in earlier SAS releases. Since those paths are within pods, they are not something you want or need to control in most cases. What you might control in a Viya 4 deployment is directing which nodes you want Kubernetes to put certain pods (or types of pods). You do this through Kubernetes node labels and taints. This is related to the discussion of workload placement in the documentation:


Is yq part of what we deliver to allow for yaml script-based querying?

I do not believe it is part of what SAS delivers but is not difficult to install and is indeed very useful.


How does internal postgres in Viya 3.5 differ in Viya 4?

One of the big differences that comes to mind is that we now use Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes as our internal postgres.


What's the full meaning of the acronym SAS and what area of digital technology does it deal in?

Statistical Analysis System. SAS is a trusted analytics powerhouse for organizations seeking immediate value from their data.


Unrelated to this presentation -- Is there a method to automatically download a report or Excel workbook?

SAS Export to Excel

Importing and Exporting Microsoft Office Files


Does SAS CI360 solution, which requires SAS information map, run on Viya? At present it is running with SAS 9.

The on-prem part must be SAS9.4 right now. Viya doesn’t yet support something similar to the Information Map that would allow you to structure your data and then having a feature like iQuery to generate the SQL for the underlying database(s). Until we have something similar in Viya you must use SAS 9.4 for the on-prem part.


Have REST APIs changed?

API utilization should be unaffected by having SAS Viya deployed on hardware vs in a container. The only documented change is where to you get the Consul token for registering the client. That's found on the 'Getting Started with SAS Viya APIs' page.


What can you suggest if one wants formal training in Azure Kubernetes?

For general Azure Kubernetes (AKS) training, Microsoft has various courses and options including certifications.


Will there be an option for on-prem (Kubernetes) for VMware Tanzu anytime soon?

Yes, it is on our Product Management prioritized development list, but we don’t have a release date yet.


Can we send follow-up questions to you via email or Teams?

Please post your questions as a comment to this post and we will get back to you with an answer.


How are the customers embracing SAS Viya on cloud as most of the customers are leaving SAS due to cloud migration?

We recognize that every customer's journey to the cloud is different. For most customers, as they begin their journey to SAS Viya, we start by analyzing how customers are using their current investments in SAS. We take those learnings and then develop a plan for that move considering each customer's specific goals.


As for adoption, Some customers move quickly to Viya; others take a slower approach by using a hybrid method with both older versions of SAS and the most current version of SAS Viya. There are also options if you need hosting or want an on-premises choice.


We want each customer's SAS Viya experience to be excellent. We are here to help; please let us know if you are ready to migrate and modernize and we can help you start planning your move!


Recommended Resources

SAS Viya Administration Guide

SAS Viya Operations Guide

SAS Viya 3.5 and SAS Viya 4: A Side-by-Side Comparison

55% Off SAS Certification Exams


Want more tips? Be sure to subscribe to the Ask the Expert board to receive follow up Q&A, slides and recordings from other SAS Ask the Expert webinars.  


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‎01-28-2022 01:45 PM
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