Managers for a well-known accounting and tax-preparation company contacted DB Best looking for an alternative solution to a big problem. They were long term customers of SAS but were n...
Why migrate away from SAS?
The businesses that have been using SAS for a long time at least once thought about the possibility to migrate away. SAS Platform is an extremely powerful solution that provides for a wide range of functionality. In many cases, the SAS-based systems don’t utilize that functionality by 100%. Yet the business owners still pay the full price.
The business face the question either they have to pay for the functionality they don’t use or they have an alternative. In reality, migration from SAS to any target is not so challenging for the business. What you need is a full understanding of the process, a reliable migration plan, and a good team.
The key reasons to migrate include:
Expensive license costs
The high cost of SAS software is one of its major minuses. You have to prolong the licenses regularly to access the SAS functionality.
The business budgets and priorities constantly change so one day you may want to cut your expenses or utilize your funds on another spending pattern. That is why, oftentimes, users decide on migration when their licenses are about to expire.
Lack of qualified specialists
The experts in SAS are fairly difficult not even to hire but to find.
This is one of the reasons why businesses choose to migrate to more popular and well-known solutions — when your dedicated SAS expert leaves the company the knowledge goes with them.
Lack of support
Reportedly, SAS developers cannot always keep up with business demands.
For some companies that is a problem, especially when they don’t have enough SAS experts amongst the team.
To decide whether to migrate from SAS you have to know the following:
- Our developers can migrate SAS to any system with similar functionality.
- SAS programming language allows for creating flexible and dynamic code and we take it into consideration when choosing the target system.
- To perform the migration effectively the developers have to access to SAS environment on your side.
Typical challenges of migration from SAS
Generally speaking, all migration or modernization projects have in common a similar workflow, technical approach, and vision. With over 18 years of experience with database migrations, our team established a proven 12-step migration process, which is also relevant for SAS migrations.
Our certified Business Intelligence and Big Data experts know all the workarounds and proven solutions that you may need when recreating your SAS applications under the new architecture.
However, some of the challenges are specific for SAS migration projects. They include:
SAS system provides for a good performance and it is difficult to compete. Thus, the main challenge of every migration is to provide for equal performance and to avoid performance downfalls.
Nevertheless, equal performance is achievable. In fact, it depends on the well-considered future state architecture.
Differences between source and target architectures
Almost 80% of all migration challenges come out of differences in source and target architectures.
Some of these challenges occur to every migration case, some of them depend on the peculiarities of the target system. However, the thoughtful architecture, well-planned process, and proper testing allow for anticipating any issues.
Current architecture vs your future architecture
Our architects analyze your existing solution and design a new system with comparable functionality. The generalized migration architecture diagram looks as follows:
For the real cases, the choice of the toolset and technologies completely depends on the functionality and peculiarities of the SAS solution. Our developers base upon our best practices and work to cover the unique needs of your business solution.
Below, we provide a real-life example of architecture diagrams from one of the projects we completed for our customers. Particularly, we moved the data from their SAS-based system to Microsoft SQL Server.
And for the code of their source system we utilized Microsoft SQL Server stored procedures. For some of those we needed to use Python and R code.
When you think about migrating your workloads a thousand questions arise immediately. You have to select the target instance, ensure the migration will be smooth and the overall system performance won’t suffer.
SAS is a multipurpose tool that has DBMS, BI and ETL features focused on Advanced Analytics. When we select the target instance we choose the set of tools that covers all our customers’ needs. Depending on your existing solution can be:
- SAS DB —> Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Azure Database Services, AWS Relational Database Services, etc.
- SAS ETL —> SQL Server Integration Services, Azure Data Factory, AWS Glue, etc.
- SAS BI —> Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, etc.
The clear vision of what target to choose and which tools to utilize our developers get after the analyze the architecture of your initial solution.
Our Future-State Architecture Design offer is a great way to get started. We’ll work with your team to look at the following.
- Evaluation of the existing solution
- Understanding the specific challenges
- Proposing recommendations on toolsets and methods to utilize
- Roadmapping the future migration
Take advantage of the DB Best experience and find the most appropriate solution on how to migrate from SAS and save your costs on support and licenses. Otherwise, you can think about a drastic decision to reinvent your solution. Our expertise allows for building your solution anew, based on reliable platforms and technologies.
Everyone is talking about the need for a digital transformation, but how do you get there? See how our future-state architecture design can use cutting edge technology to meet your organization’s needs.
Looking for a reliable partner who knows both application development and data platform migration? We have the people, process, and products to help you move to the cloud or migrate to new platforms.
Increase your business agility and capabilities through cloud migration to Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform.
Need help creating new solutions, but lack in-house expertise? Would you rather have your DBA team spend more time supporting your developers instead of keeping the lights on?
Learn how DB Best can help you migrate your SAS solutions to Apache Hive data warehouse built on top of Apache Hadoop to maintaine a high level of performance and save licensing costs.
Discover the benefits modernizing SAS solutions by using SQL Server as a data storage in a combination with native SSIS and SSRS services for data integration and reports.
See how DB Best can help you deploy SAS workloads on AWS or migrate your entire system to the Amazon cloud to take the most from modern cloud technologies.
Learn more about migration from SAS
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