Configuring hardware for SAS: what you should know before you install

When SAS is used for analysis on large volumes of data (in the gigabytes), SAS reads and writes the data using large block sequential IO.  To gain the optimal performance from the hardware when doing these IOs, we strongly suggest that you review the information below to ensure that the infrastructure (CPUs, memory, IO subsystem) are all configured as optimally as possible. Read More »

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Use layering to design reports in SAS® Visual Analytics

Report design includes several phases. Granted, these phases aren’t official:  they’re more a reflection of my own thought processes and how my report designs typically unfold:

  • the initial “get the data on the screen to see what we have” phase
  • the addition of filters and prompts to assist with guided analysis
  • the definition of interactions to support drill-down and detail level analysis
  • and finally the beautification phase.

The most time-consuming phases of report design are the two middle phases.  However, when demonstrating reports to business units, it is typically the last phase, the beautification phase, that gets business user buy-in.

VAlayering1This last phase leads us to the topic of this post:  object layering in SAS Visual Analytics Designer. You can layer report objects in all releases when using the precision layout option, but SAS Visual Analytics 6.3 introduced the ability to enable or disable Selection in viewer. This object property controls whether an object is selectable, i.e., whether you can select the object container or maximize the object in the viewers. The ability to layer and flatten text and graphs is a powerful tool when putting the polishing touches on your report design.

Here’s an overview of some of the report objects that can be layered: Read More »

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SAS and Hadoop—living in the same house

hadoop-topo1So, with the simple introduction in Understanding Hadoop security, configuring Kerberos with Hadoop alone looks relatively straightforward. Your Hadoop environment sits in isolation within a separate, independent Kerberos realm with its own Kerberos Key Distribution Center. End users can happily type commands as they log into a machine hosting the Hadoop clients. From the host machine they can run processing against the Hadoop services.

But how does SAS fit into this picture? Where will the SAS servers and clients be located in relation to the Hadoop Kerberos realm? This post provides more insight into second of the four key practices for securing a SAS-Hadoop environment: Read More »

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Considering a SAS Global Forum 2015 presentation? Try an e-poster!

David_Moors_SGF2014Last year, after 15 years of benefiting from the SAS community, I thought it was time to give a little something back. So I decided to write a paper on two technologies I have a healthy interest in: SAS and Hadoop. My paper SASReduce: an implementation of MapReduce using BASE/SAS was quite a niche topic and thus made an ideal candidate for an e-poster.

The e-poster is a new format introduced at the SAS Global Forum 2014, replacing the traditional paper poster format of past years. The format of the e-poster is a bit more informal than the traditional presentation and is ideal for the first time presenter.

Are you considering a topic that works well in an interactive format? There are lots of presentation formats available for SAS Global Forum 2015. Don’t forget the call for content deadline is October 21.

Having developed and presented an e-poster, I thought I'd share some observations about my favourite session type: Read More »

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Encoding: helping SAS speak your language

If you live in an English speaking country you are used to a relatively unadorned alphabet. Take a look at the French and Spanish languages, where vowels are decorated with accents like “acción” in Spanish, and the circumflex, or the hat used in “pâte” in French. Look at the gorgeous scripting you get to use if you read and write the letter "a" in Japanese: あ . Nice looking, right?

If you work with data that originates from another country or is distributed across the globe, you need to know about the SAS system options that control how the characters in your data are stored. Two of these options are ENCODING and LOCALE. These options will help guarantee that if your Japanese counterpart sends you SAS information in Japanese, you see the appropriate output, and not a series of question marks or blank boxes in your SAS session, or worse, errors in your log window.

The ENCODING system option instructs SAS how to store the data created by SAS in that session and how to read data from external sources. The LOCALE system option instructs SAS how to represent currency, date and time values, how to display menu items and tasks, and sets default papersize and timezone values. Read More »

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Understanding Hadoop security

Hadoop_logoA challenge for you – do a Google search for “Hadoop Security” and see what types of results you get. You’ll find a number of vendor-specific pages talking about a range of projects and products attempting to address the issue of Hadoop security. What you’ll soon learn is that security is quickly becoming a big issue for all organizations trying to use Hadoop.

Many of you may already be planning or involved in Hadoop deployments involving SAS software. As a result, technical architects at SAS often get questions around security, particularly around end-point security capabilities. While there are many options for end-point and user security in the technology industry, the Hadoop Open Source Community is currently leading with a third-party authentication protocol called Kerberos.

Four key practices for securing a SAS-Hadoop environment

To access to a fully operational and secure Hadoop environment, it is critical to understand the requirements, preparation and process around Kerberos enablement with key SAS products. There are four overall practices that help ensure your SAS-Hadoop connection is secure and that SAS performs well within the environment. Today’s post is the first in a series that will cover the details of each of these practices: Read More »

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Hey, who you callin' a WUSS?

Western Users of SAS SoftwareLet's get one thing straight: I'm no wuss. Well, at least *I* don't think so.

But on September 3-5, 2014, I gladly joined ranks with over 400 WUSSes descending on the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose for the Western Users of SAS Software (WUSS) Educational Forum and Conference. It was my privilege to once again serve the group as an invited speaker and workshop instructor.

It was a great conference, and I'm thankful that I was able to be a part of it! Read More »

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What's that acronym?!? Fun with SAS users groups

ANZmapWe live in a world of acronyms, or rather TLAs, and SAS user group names are renowned for them. Last week I received a comment about one of the Australian user group names, and it got me thinking how did these names come about? What is their history? and to share the SAS ANZ groups with the wider SAS community (now that SANZOC is a public group). Read More »

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Econometric modeling: your questions answered

Several weeks ago, I led a SAS Talks webinar on SAS/ETS emphasizing the many recent changes to the software. SAS/ETS, for those unfamiliar with the product, is SAS’s suite of econometrics, time series and forecasting tools and algorithms. While we covered a substantial amount of material in the talk, there is even more that I didn’t have time to share. Read More »

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SAS scalability: 5 concepts you should know

Scalability is the key objective of high-performance software solutions. “Scaling out” is a concept which is accomplished by throwing more server machines at a solution so that multiple processes can run in dedicated environments concurrently. This blog post will briefly touch on several scalability concepts that affect SAS. Read More »

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