SAS Adds Hadoop to High-Performance Analytics Server

SAS announced that its High-Performance Analytics Server will now use the Hadoop Distributed File Systems (HDFS).

Analytics and business intelligence software provider SAS has announced that its High-Performance Analytics Server now supports even more analytics, including text mining and optimization.

In addition, the predictive modeling capabilities of SAS High-Performance Analytics Server will now also use the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), the popular open-source big data infrastructure, SAS officials said. In-memory software accelerates insights and solves complex problems involving huge volumes of structured and unstructured data.

“SAS has ramped up R&D on our high-performance analytics family,” Jim Davis, SAS senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “Our customers say lightning-fast analytic insights with SAS High-Performance Analytics Server provide powerful competitive advantage. These latest enhancements, including additional support for Hadoop and HDFS, make it easier to achieve value from big data.”

The latest SAS High-Performance Analytic Server supports HDFS in deployments on industry-standard hardware platforms. SAS/ACCESS Interface to Hadoop, introduced in February, is among nearly 30 packaged solutions for data connectivity and integration between SAS and third-party data sources, including data warehouse appliances, enterprise applications, non-relational mainframe data sources and popular relational databases.

The new SAS/ACCESS Interface to Hadoop software is targeted at companies rolling out Hadoop pilots or production deployments.

“Hadoop is the big data platform of choice for’s analytics team, and SAS is our analytics engine that drives insights. We connect the two environments to create an analytics solution that drives business value,” said Kerem Tomak, vice president of marketing analytics at, in a statement. “I’ve used SAS/ACCESS engines for other data sources in the past and, based on that, I believe SAS/ACCESS Interface to Hadoop will provide tangible benefits.”

Meanwhile, SAS graphical tools such as SAS Data Integration Server enable users to access, process and manage Hadoop data and processes from within the SAS environment, alleviating problems of skills shortages and complexity associated with Hadoop, the company said. SAS augments Hadoop with analytics, plus metadata, security and lineage capabilities to make it enterprise-ready.

SAS Data Management also mitigates the lack of mature tools for developing and managing Hadoop deployments, helping organizations gain value from Hadoop more quickly with fewer resources. Hadoop integration with SAS Information Management provides several features including an intuitive, graphical SAS user interface that uses Pig, Hive, MapReduce and HDFS commands. It also includes streamlined code generation with visual editing and a built-in syntax checker for Pig and MapReduce code. In addition, it includes standard SAS Data Integration Studio transformations to work with Hadoop data and build job flows, and SAS DataFlux data quality assurance for data coming in or out of Hadoop.

“EMC Greenplum has long realized Hadoop’s value and has made it a key component in the Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform (UAP), which combines the coprocessing of structured and unstructured data,” said Josh Klahr, vice president of products at Greenplum, a division of EMC, in a statement. “The enhanced SAS High-Performance Analytics Server with Hadoop support running on Greenplum delivers a superior analytics environment, allowing customers to extract insights from vast amounts of data. Greenplum will continue working with SAS to create optimized big data platforms that deliver timely results and excellent customer value.”

Meanwhile, Rick Lower, partnership marketing director at Teradata, said, “In this time of increasingly complex business scenarios and the emergence of new opportunities from a universe of big data, SAS and Teradata analytic solutions are producing valuable insight for more companies than ever. Our new Teradata 700 appliance for SAS offers preinstalled SAS in-memory analytics with advanced capabilities.”

Overall, the new updates to the platform bolster SAS’ growing high-performance product set, which includes the in-memory big data visualization of SAS Visual Analytics and increased industry-specific and horizontal analytic solutions. SAS announced its latest, SAS High-Performance Marketing Optimization, on Oct. 10.

Early users of SAS High-Performance Analytics Server report analytic computing time shrinking from days and hours to minutes, even seconds. They can analyze more data, perform more model iterations and run more sophisticated algorithms. For example, by evaluating numerous scenarios simultaneously, a bank can spot opportunities, detect emerging issues and respond immediately to market conditions. A retailer can personalize offers on the spot, based on structured and unstructured data from sales and social media, boosting sales.

Increased functionality for customers running SAS High-Performance Analytics Server on database appliances from Teradata or EMC Greenplum includes text data. SAS Enterprise Miner users can build predictive and descriptive models even faster based on large data volumes.

Organizations use SAS analytics to detect fraud, minimize risk, increase response rates for marketing campaigns and curb customer attrition. SAS High-Performance Analytics means finding fraud before claims are paid, evaluating risk more frequently, improving marketing campaigns and reaching valuable customers before they defect.

Now enabled for SAS High-Performance Analytics Server, SAS Text Miner unlocks information from extremely large document collections, including social media. Leaders can act on new opportunities more quickly, more precisely and with less risk.

The updates also enhance large-scale optimization with select high-performance capabilities in existing SAS/OR procedures. Only SAS High-Performance Analytics Server combines mathematical optimization—versus simple rules-based analysis and user-defined constraint modeling—with big data to make the best possible decisions.

These latest SAS announcements came at The Premier Business Leadership Series event in Las Vegas, a thought-leadership conference presented by SAS that brings together more than 600 senior-level attendees from the public and private sectors to share ideas on critical business issues.