About SAS® 9 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012


Here in the SAS Performance Lab, we’re seeing more and more SAS sites moving their SAS® 9 application workloads to Windows Server 2012. Now that we’ve had sufficient time to gather feedback from early implementers of SAS on these systems, we thought you might want a recap of some of the tuning guidelines, supported versions and lessons-learned.

Supported releases

If you’re thinking of moving to any release of Windows 8 operating system or Windows Server 2012, this table may help clarify which releases of SAS are supported. Please note that not all SAS 9.3M2 products and solutions are supported.

SAS Release Supported Not supported
Any SAS release prior
to SAS 9.3 M2
Windows 8Windows 8.1

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 R2

Foundation SAS 9.3 M2SAS Enterprise Guide 5.1

SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office 5.1

Windows 8Windows 8.1 Pro

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 R2

Internet Explorer 10Internet Explorer 11
SAS 9.4SAS 9.4 M1 Windows 8Windows 8.1 Pro

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 R2

Internet Explorer 10

Internet Explorer 11

Tuning guidelines

The tuning guidelines in the Configuration and Tuning Guidelines for SAS 9 in Microsoft Windows Server 2008 hold true for SAS 9 on Windows 2012.

What you should know

There are some issues you should be aware of:

  • SAS servers don’t run on Windows Server Core. The operating system will have to be booted in GUI mode.
  • Shortcuts to batch scripts that control Servers (MetadataServer.bat, etc.) do not show up on the Start screen. Shortcuts are lumped together on the Apps screen under SAS.  If working in the Windows Desktop, since there is Start button, customers will have to navigate directly to the folder they reside in or find them on the Apps screen. Or if they know the name of the shortcut, they just start typing on the Start screen. These shortcuts have been removed as of SAS 9.4M1.
  • SAS Visual Analytics might not run in Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2012 because Flash is now being embedded in Internet Explorer and is only installed and enabled if Windows Desktop Experience is installed.
  • Windows Server 2012 has a feature called Fair Share that is installed as part of Remote Desktop Session Host. The Remote Desktop Session Host role is installed to allow multi-user access to a server. Fair Share consists of three pieces: Disk Fair Share, CPU Fair Share, and Network Fair Share.  All three pieces are enabled by default when RD Session Host is installed.  (Windows Server 2008 R2 had only CPU Fair Share, and it was disabled by default.)  The performance of SAS 9.3 is adversely impacted by Disk Fair Share. The performance impact for SAS workloads that use heavy disk I/O can be from 30% to over 100%. That is, a SAS job can take over twice as long to run with Disk Fair Share enabled.
  • SAS testing of SAS 9.3 with various Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V configurations turned up no issues. In fact, the testing showed performance results in line with our testing of SAS 9.3 on VMWare vSphere5.

More information


About Author

Margaret Crevar

Manager, SAS R&D Performance Lab

Margaret Crevar has worked at SAS since May 1982. She has held a variety of positions since then, working in sales, marketing and now research and development. In her current role, Crevar manages the SAS Performance Lab in R&D. This lab has two roles: testing future SAS releases while they're still in development to make sure they're performing as expected; and helping SAS customers who are experiencing performance issues overcome their challenges.


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