JTonEDM, James Taylor, April 2, 2012
High-Performance Analytics from SAS consists of SAS Grid Computing, SAS In-Database Analytics and SAS In-Memory Analytics. The latter component has a new addition in the form of SAS High-Performance Analytics (SAS HPA), which was announced in Dec. 2011. SAS HPA is appliance-ready software that uses hardware from database partners (Teradata or EMC Greenplum) for high performance data exploration, model development and model deployment and scoring. The whole lifecycle from descriptive statistics to variable selection and modeling to model comparison and scoring is supported within these appliances.
Faster analytic model processing performance can make a real difference. For instance a large customer was spending 5 hours to develop a single algorithm (Neural Network) model each day for new customer acquisition business case. With SAS HPA they reduced the model processing time to 3 minutes, allowing a model to be iterated every 30 minutes or so while also using multiple modeling techniques. This improved their model lift from 1.6% to 2.5% - a potentially huge value for the enterprise with a large, diversified customer base.
... existing single-threaded SAS code that uses SAS/Access for data read and runs on the client can be updated with a single proc name change (proc logistic to proc hplogistic). This makes the code multi-threaded, aware of the distributed computing environment, uses SAS/Access for parsing the data and then runs on the DBMS appliance in an in-memory fashion. In SAS Enterprise Miner there are simply new high-performance nodes for the analytic process flow that evoke in-memory processing using the database appliance and produce identical results for the rest of the process (scoring, deployment, model management, etc).