One of the roles my team enjoys is working with SAS customers on performance issues along with testing SAS software on selected hardware configurations. We also work closely with other groups within SAS who work with SAS partners to test the latest and greatest features. My team then takes what is learned and shares those results with SAS administrators in the field.
Recently, we had the opportunity work with a SAS customer who was not getting the performance they expected from their new IBM POWER7 Series system. If you are running SAS on an IBM POWER7 system, please read on for what we learned from this customer experience.
The IBM POWER 7 systems running AIX use the IBM PowerVM feature to enable their LPARs to function in a virtual manner. PowerVM virtualization enables continuous, dynamic resource adjustments across all partitions (LPARs) and operating environments, independent of physical placement, top optimize performance while minimizing energy usage.
If your POWER7 system is doing a lot of sharing of resources between partitions, we have found turning on the dedicated-donating LPAR feature is a must to boost the performance of SAS on your new POWER7 system. Details regarding the dedicated-donating LPAR feature along with how to turn it on can be found in this IBM White Paper: SAS deployment on IBM Power Servers with IBM PowerVM dedicated-donating LPARS.