Raymond Thomas

7月 292020

Students in my classes often want to know about how to discover what's going on in their SAS environment. They get auditing questions from others in their organizations and don’t know how to find the answers. I honestly get a bit giddy when I can point them to SAS® software's Report Center, so it seems fitting to tout it now, as Friday is System Administrator Appreciation Day.

The Report Center, available since SAS 9.4M3, is a collection of stored processes that produce reports from data in the SAS Environment Manager Data Mart. These reports are a window into the performance and status of your SAS environment and its resources. They're samples of the types of reports you can produce using available metric data. You can also create your own reports to meet your individual requirements.

How Report Center works

The stored processes in the Report Center are created when you initialize SAS Environment Manager Extended Monitoring. However, the stored processes operate only on data that was stored in the SAS Environment Manager Data Mart by the APM or ACM ETL processes. Unless you initialize and enable one of those packages, no reports are produced.

The information in SAS Environment Manager Data Mart is the storage area for the Audit Performance Metrics (APM) and Agent Collected Metrics (ACM). APM scans the components in your SAS system for SAS server logs, SAS job logs, SAS Metadata and HTTP access logs; basically, everything SAS. The ACM collects information such as workload, CPU usage, and memory.

The current SAS Administration Fast Track course, which includes information about the Report Center, is taught on SAS 9.4M6. Before I decided to write this post, I searched and found others have provided information about the Report Center. There are several other blog posts and videos about it, so it surprises me how many I teach are unaware of the Report Center.

After generating reports in class, I have a whole new band of converts for the SAS Report Center. The great news is that it is never too late to initialize the Report Center in your SAS 9 environment.

Learn more about how to use the Report Center in the SAS Environment manager 2.5 User's Guide. Training for the SAS Report Center is found in the SAS® Platform Administration: Fast Track. Happy SysAdmin Day a couple of days early! I look forward to the opportunity to meet you in one of our upcoming classes!


Report Center: SAS SysAdmin's secret weapon was published on SAS Users.

7月 282020

I spend my days helping SAS Platform Administrators develop their skills. The best part of my job? Helping them understand the power and importance of SAS as an analytics platform. Watching them move from no knowledge of SAS to feeling confident in their newfound abilities brings me joy.

Most of the future SAS Administrators I teach function as “SAS Administrator and <fill in the blank>.” Their dilemma inspired this post describing a typical day in the life of a SAS Administrator.

Customer needs vary, and SAS adapts with them, so there's really no by-the-book, play-by-play list of the daily activities. Every SAS Administrator's day is a little different, but below are some of the common tasks.

SAS server management

The day starts with checking your servers. As the admin, I check my servers every day. Without the ability to process their code, your users will not be happy. I know, I know, making users happy might not be high on your bucket list, but it’s a part of the job. Besides, don’t you want the satisfaction of knowing that your finely tuned SAS environment remained finely tuned over night?

Which SAS components you have and the operating system determine how you check your servers.

SAS® Viya provides scripts in /etc/init.d that you use to stop, start, restart, and check the status of an individual SAS Viya server and service.

How you run the individual server and service scripts depends on your operating system:

To check status of all servers and services:

sudo /etc/init.d/sas-viya-all-services status

For SAS® 9, there are scripts in <config-directory>/config/Lev1 to control the servers.

To check status of all servers and services:

<config-directory>/config/Lev1/sas.servers {start|stop|restart|status}

The good news is you do not have to run these scripts manually every day. You can schedule them using third party tools so that when you arrive at work, server status greets you.

User management

Many administrators prefer dealing with the servers more than the users. Like I mentioned earlier, users are really our primary reason for being here. Not a day goes by that you will not have to perform some task associated with users. Users come, so you must give access. Users go, so you must remove access. User A is having trouble with his report. User B is having trouble with her code. Solve the issue and you are a genius. If they stump you, no worries! There is always SAS Technical Support for help. With SAS, you are never alone.

Data management

I often tell my students to become friends with their database administrators (DBAs). Unless, the <fill in the blank> part of their “SAS and…” is DBA. Then they should be their own best friend because SAS is all about accessing data of all sizes. If I had a nickel for every story I’ve heard about turf wars between SAS Administrators and DBAs….

The SAS Administrator must make sure the data is accessible. It may not be your job, but it is your responsibility. It doesn’t matter that you had nothing to do with the database password changing overnight and now this morning no one can access tables they could access yesterday. Today you solve everyone’s data access issues.

People often ask me if I get tired of teaching the same administration classes over and over again. I tell them, "No Way!" The content may be the same, but because every customer can use SAS differently, every class is different. I think the same is true for administering SAS. Every day brings the opportunity for learning, fun and excitement. There will be smooth days, when all is well. There will be challenging days, when you wonder what in the world is going on. Regardless, as the SAS Administrator you have many resources to help. There’s a whole SAS Administrator Community if you feel alone, SAS Technical Support if you run into trouble, and SAS Education training if you need a bump or reset to your administration skills. There's also a way to be certified as a SAS Platform Administrator.


A day in the life of the SAS Platform Administrator was published on SAS Users.