Configuring storage for SAS--additional guidelines

My Performance Validation team in SAS R&D is constantly working with our partners to test how their storage arrays work with SAS.  In late 2014, we finalized several papers that discuss how a mixed analytics workload performs on several storage arrays.  While doing this testing, we also listed lessons-learned in the tuning guidelines of each paper.

Please review the papers listed below:

These papers, along with lots of other papers for other storage, can be found in Usage Note 53874: Troubleshooting system performance problems: I/O subsystem and storage papers.  Please bookmark this SAS Usage note as we update this list of papers regularly.

Let me know if you have questions about these papers or if there are other new storage systems that you would like SAS to test.

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SAS Global Forum 2015—arrive early, stay late, learn and save

I’m not a seasoned business traveler so I generally plan to arrive extra early and leave a little late to avoid any last-minute stress. The problem with all that stress-avoidance is that I often have extra time on my hands and am stuck with finding ways to entertain myself.

What about you? How do you plan to occupy your extra time while in Dallas for SAS Global Forum 2015? Read More »

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SAS Environment Manager:  compatible groups save time

Many larger SAS deployments have multiple instances of similar SAS-related servers. For example, a distributed SAS Enterprise BI environment may have several machines running instances of the object spawner or the OLAP server. Similarly, all of your distributed SAS Visual Analytics deployments have worker nodes that are typically dedicated Linux machines that serve only the needs of SAS Visual Analytics users. As a SAS administrator, it is often useful to understand metrics across a collection of these similar resources to keep tabs on the performance of the system as a whole. Fortunately, SAS Environment Manager provides compatible groups as a way to summarize metrics across a collection of similar resources. Read More »

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SAS macro variables: how to determine scope

Have you ever created a SAS macro variable and at resolution time received a warning that it did not exist? Many times this warning is because your program referenced the macro variable outside the scope it was created in.

Every macro variable created is stored in one of two symbol tables. The symbol table lists the macro variable name and its value and determines its scope. Global macro variables, or those stored in the global symbol table, exist for the duration of the SAS session and can be referenced anywhere except in the CARDS and DATALINES statements. Local macro variables, or those stored in a local symbol table, exist only during the execution of the macro in which the variable is created.

This post will help you determine which scope a macro variable will be defined in. I will also show a nice feature of CALL SYMPUTX for assigning the scope for macro variables. Lastly, I will discuss some SAS functions that help determine if a macro variable exists in one of the two scopes. Read More »

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SAS love is in the air!

HeartLogoLove is in the air and things are starting to heat up for Valentine’s Day. OK—maybe not for Connecticut and the rest of the northeast buried in another foot of snow and more on the way!

Perhaps some stories of love could help melt the ice away. They’re happening every day for SAS users—those stories of love about a product and company bringing people together to help move the world.

Have you heard the story about the love of an unborn child and how SAS the company and SAS the software changed the outcome for one family?

Or maybe about how studying data can save lives?

Or a common story about a story of two people (both users of SAS software) who fell in love, married and had a family. Now they work together with a team of users to put on the biggest gathering of SAS users in the world—SAS Global Forum, a place where you can share your tips and tricks or stories of how SAS has touched your life.

Share your SAS love story here!  And plan come to SAS Global Forum 2015 in Dallas where it’s already 75° F., sunny and only going to get hotter April 26-29.

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SAS Global Forum 2015: Connect with the experts through Table Talks

I stated in my previous blog about the value and benefits of volunteering that SAS Global Forum is designed to bring users with questions together with users with know-how. This goal is accomplished primarily in breakout and ePoster presentations. During his keynote address at SAS Global Forum 2014, Futurist Thornton May described and demonstrated how to make presentations more interesting and engaging by interacting with the audience.

Beginning in Dallas this April, SAS Global Forum will act on Thornton May’s advice by organizing additional opportunities for users with questions to query users with know-how. The all new Table Talk sessions are intimate, round-table discussions among a dozen or so participants. Table Talk presenters are subject matter experts who will open and facilitate discussions important to all those attending. Read More »

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SAS Global Forum: the skinny on ePosters

I love to teach, but it took several years of teaching before I felt comfortable being in front of a class. And having taught for over 20 years, the fear of presenting in the classroom has passed, but what about presenting at professional meetings or in front of my peers? I still get nervous for presentations outside of the classroom, but the 20 years of teaching has helped me control my nervousness.

Like me, some of this year’s SAS Global Forum presenters have a fear of public speaking.  Others have topics that lend themselves to more visual treatment. Others simply prefer the give-and-take of an informal discussion. Rather than giving a paper, they have chosen to present their ideas as an ePoster. Read More »

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Using parameters in SAS Visual Analytics

In the latest release of SAS Visual Analytics Designer, a parameter is a variable whose value can be changed and that can be referenced by other report objects. Why is this an important introduction?

This addition means that, not only can you design interactive reports via prompt controls, those controls can now map to a variable that feeds the report calculated data items or aggregated measures based on numeric or string calculations. In practice, you assign a parameter to one control in your report, and then you can use that parameter multiple times in calculations, display rules, filters or ranks, and they will be automatically updated as the value of the parameter is changed. Read More »

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SAS Global Forum 2015—content available now!

This is an exciting and busy time for the SAS Global Forum 2015 content and delivery teams. They have worked hard to finalize the content, enhance your scheduling experience and ensure that attendees have access to as much of the conference content as possible. Please set aside some time in the coming weeks to view the hundreds of offerings in areas spanning from Data Mining and Sports Analytics to SAS Administration.
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How to perform a fuzzy match using SAS functions

SAS Technical Support Problem Solvers“Here’s Johnny!!!” and well sometimes John and sometimes Jonathan and sometimes Jon.

In the real world, you sometimes need to make matching character strings more flexible. This is especially common when merging data sets. Variables, especially names, are not always exactly the same in all sources of your data. When matching data, you need to be able to programmatically determine if ‘John Doe’ is the same as ‘Johnny Doe’. The term most often associated with this type of matching is ‘fuzzy matching’. Fortunately within SAS, there are several functions that allow you to perform a fuzzy match. I’ll show you the most common of these functions and then I will show you an example that uses my favorite from this list. Read More »

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