Enterprise Architecture: Your chance to design your perfect SAS environment

Perhaps it is my astrological sign, but as a Gemini, I seem to be cursed blessed with a duality that consists of balancing my creative side with exacting nature of my logical side.  In my personal life, I enjoy woodworking.  Whether it is creating “art in the round” from a block of wood or designing a functional piece that must withstand daily use, they both exercise this polarity - the creative process as well as the fine tuned aspects of engineering. I cannot touch a piece of furniture without running my fingers over the joints and appreciating the beauty and exactness of the work.

Greg_bowl_icon  Greg_box_icon I find those two sides converging in my designs of SAS environments—the creative aspect lies in the fact that there are lots of ways to design it, whereas the engineering side ensures that it must perform.

 
As SAS administrators, we are often left to deal with the design of others and forced to make it work. Even though the requirements evolve, the usage grows beyond expectation, and the unintended consequence of your own success forces you to maintain and innovate on an almost continual basis.

An example of this is SAS Visual Analytics.  Traditional BI and even ETL architectures are designed and tuned to handle a specific workload. Memory, CPU and I/O are optimized to take advantage of client-server requests and batch windows for loading and transforming data.  These have become fairly predictable and manageable.  However, faced with the growing demand of massively large, in-memory process for discovery and insight, the same rules about architecture and design need to be reconsidered.  Combined with in-database, both models force the designer to anticipate the proper design and architect for the unexpected.

Considering everything from storage to virtualization, version control to disaster recovery and everything in between, most SAS administrators don’t get the opportunity to practice their architecture and design skills nor do most have the broad range of skills required to do this for enterprise-class architectures.

I am excited to say that you will have the opportunity to get some real world experience in a workshop specifically designed for people who want to learn about enterprise architecture.  At SAS Global Forum 2015 next April, I will be joined by a team of international experts who do this every day.  This workshop is designed to make you think about how to translate technical and functional requirements into logical and physical designs.  Essentially, we will go through the life cycle of an enterprise architecture design—from requirements to sizing to performance management.

The workshop attendees will participate in large group sessions to learn about the desired characteristics of their design and work through the detailed design in small teams to create an optimal solution.  Each team will be given an opportunity to be paired with senior architects and experts in storage, I/O, database, networking, virtual and distributed computing, metadata, governance and SAS technologies.  They will be challenged with creating a design that satisfies the stated and implied requirements, and each team will have an opportunity to compete with other teams for the best design rated on a number of characteristics.  The team designs will be showcased at the first-ever SAS Administrators Reception and a grand champion announced.

We will be working over the winter months to bring you the absolutely best experience. In the meantime, please feel free to offer suggestions about design topics that you are struggling with or have solved in your own experiences.

Remember, Happy Data, Happy Users!

--greg

 

Post a Comment

How to calculate the weighted average in SAS Visual Analytics in six easy steps

The weighted average calculation is a useful metric that you should be familiar with.  The more common calculation of average is the arithmetic mean, which assumes that each data point has an equal weight. Unlike the arithmetic mean, the weighted average takes into account the fact that some data points contribute more to the average than others. The calculations make use of relative weights assigned to each data point.

A weighted average is often used in Finance. One example is determining the number of shares outstanding in an organization. To get an accurate picture of these shares, the weighted average number of shares can be calculated by taking the number of outstanding shares and multiplying the portion of the reporting period covered. When you do this to each portion and sum the total, you obtain the final weighted average of shares. The downside of not using weighted averages is that otherwise, only the starting or ending number of shares for the year would be counted.

In another example, many universities use a weighted average for calculating grades and GPAs. Many colleges put more weight on core classes than those not required for a major or concentration. A weighted average can reveal a more accurate GPA, focusing on those grades that matter most. Read More »

Post a Comment

SAS Environment Manager 2.4 -- new options for monitoring your SAS environment

If you’ve used SAS Environment Manager, you know what kind of information it’s capable of providing – the metrics that show you how the resources in your SAS environment are performing. But what if it could do more? What if it could automatically collect and standardize metric data from SAS logs for your SAS applications? What if it could automatically collect and standardize metric data about the computing resources that make up your SAS system? And what if it could store all of that data in a single location, where it could be used to generate detailed predefined reports or to perform your own analysis?

All of this is possible with the SAS Environment Manager Service Management Architecture, which is a new feature in SAS Environment Manager 2.4. These new functions enable SAS Environment Manager to be a part of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and can help your organization meet your IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) reporting and measurement requirements. Read More »

Post a Comment

My five favorite memories of MWSUG 2014

MWSUG 2014 logo showing Chicago skyline and 25th anniversary bannerThe Chicago weather cooperated for MWSUG 2014 with nice crisp fall temperatures, clear skies and beautiful sunrises over the lake.  Aside from the weather, here are my five favorite memories of MWSUG 2014:

 1. Location-location-location. The location and venue were fabulous! Not only were we along the Chicago River with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan, but we were also close to shopping, restaurants, museums, a large Midwest SAS User Community and the SAS Chicago office. Transportation was easy with the “el” close by too. Great choice for both local users and those who travelled. Read More »

Post a Comment

Symbols in SAS 9.4 graphs: unlimited possibilities

Beginning with the first maintenance of SAS 9.4, you have the ability to define your own symbol markers using the SYMBOLCHAR and SYMBOLIMAGE statements. With these statements you can select a Unicode value or you can select an image file that exists on the local file system—making the possibilities for customizing your graphs almost unlimited. Read More »

Post a Comment

SAS High-Performance Analytics: connecting to secure Hadoop

hadoop-HPAIn this post we dig deeper into the fourth recommended practice for securing the SAS-Hadoop environment through Kerberos authentication:

When configuring SAS and Hadoop jointly in a high-performance environment, ensure that all SAS servers are recognized by Kerberos.

Before explaining the complex steps in connecting to secure Hadoop within a SAS High-Performance Analytics environment such as SAS Visual Analytics, let’s start by reviewing a simpler connection from a standard SAS session through SAS/ACCESS for Hadoop. Read More »

Post a Comment

Circling Google maps with SAS

Google Maps with SASI have to admit: I am biased. Out of all geometrical shapes, I favor circles the most. I am attracted to them because they are perfect geometrical figures. They are well rounded, all-around symmetrical and their shape and size are defined by just one parameter – their radius. Plus, to my taste they are just gorgeous and sweet (I am talking π here).

Geometrical fact: circles belong to a plane as opposed to spheres that exist in a 3D space, like our Earth. Notably, Google map transforms Earth (a sphere) to a plane. In other words, a Google map represents a portion of the Earth’s surface flattened to a plane.

If circles belong to a plane and Google Map is a plane, one can easily conclude that circles belong to Google map. Well—this logic bending would most definitely tick off Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory, but don’t we often arrive to desirable conclusions regardless of logic! Besides, I admitted that I love circles, and I love Google maps - do not expect me to be rational here - passion is a valuable substitution. Read More »

Post a Comment

Matching SAS releases with compatible OS, SAS client and third-party software

The only thing that’s constant is change. The continual cycle of computing changes leads to common questions about the effects of these changes—operating systems are getting upgraded, customers are moving to new SAS clients, upgrading to new releases of SAS, working with new Java and browser versions. All of these are occurring regularly at customer sites and usually not at the same time.

Keeping up with new releases of SAS and changes in hardware and software configurations, leads to some common questions we get in Technical Support. Have you asked any of these questions recently? Do they sound familiar to you? Read More »

Post a Comment

SAS and secure Hadoop: 3 deployment requirements

hadoop-config1In previous posts, we’ve shared the importance of understanding the fundamentals of Kerberos authentication and how we can simplify processes by placing SAS and Hadoop in the same realm. For SAS applications to interact with a secure Hadoop environment, we must address the third key practice:

Ensure Kerberos prerequisites are met when installing and configuring SAS applications that interact with Hadoop.

The prerequisites must be met during installation and deployment of SAS software, specifically SAS/ACCESS Interface to Hadoop for SAS 9.4. Read More »

Post a Comment