SAS's New Architecture Highlights the Cloud and Openness

SAS used its SAS Global Forum and Executive Conference to announce a major architecture change this evening, taking big steps into the cloud and open source.

Jim Goodnight
Jim Goodnight

SAS (sponsor of this site) opened the customer event in Las Vegas with the introduction of SAS Viya, which it pitched as its "next-generation high-performance analytics and visualization architecture.

SAS isn't abandoning its traditional offerings. But it is making the cloud and open source tools a key selling point for Viya, particularly for organizations that are in the early stages of their analytics initiatives. In terms of openness, SAS said that Viya will support popular programming languages and public, open-source APIs, including R, Python, Lua, and Java.

Randy Guard, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, said in a press release, “Analytics are firmly at the center of today’s enterprise, producing new opportunities, improving customer experiences, and growing bottom lines. SAS Viya provides businesses, governments, and other organizations a single, open, and cloud-ready architecture. It’s easy to manage, scales to all analytic challenges, and delivers value from analysts of varied skill sets.”

Viya, introduced with several new applications, will employ a usage-based payment model. However, SAS officials wouldn't rule out a future subscription-based approach in the future. The company promised that its existing portfolio of analytics solutions will be supported in the future,

Viya is scheduled to be available in the August timeframe.

The applications that were introduced and are ready to run with Viya are:

  • SAS Visual Analytics
  • SAS Visual Statistics
  • SAS Visual Investigator, a new product that provides graphical and interactive intelligence management and investigation capabilities.
  • SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning, a new product that is aimed at data scientists who want to easily apply machine learning and data mining techniques to structured and unstructured data.

At the core of Viya is its Cloud Analytics Services, which features an in-memory computing engine and various micro services.

SAS, which is using the event to help celebrate its 40th anniversary, announced the new products to more than 5,000 attendees at the Venetian hotel and an estimated 30,000 viewers on streaming media. Founder and CEO Jim Goodnight reflected on the changes in computing analytics in the past four decades.

Goodnight also helped to introduce another new product, SAS Customer Intelligence 360, a cloud-based offering designed to help marketers understand and take action on data reflecting customer activity across multiple channels.

Goodnight said it solves the problem of fragmented marketing efforts. "This brings all the data from different channels together, he explained."

In a third announcement, SAS introduced SAS Analytics for IoT, which is designed to move analytics closer to the edge of the Internet of Things by applying SAS analytics capabilities to sensors and other devices.

SAS Global Forum and Executive Conference continue on Wednesday with multiple keynotes and breakout sessions.

Viya at a glance
Viya at a glance

James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

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Re: Viya is promising
  • 4/30/2016 11:56:05 PM

I agree. It's important that SAS makes a strategic moves towards the cloud.   The key for open is to develop a strong community around its solutions.

Viya is promising
  • 4/30/2016 9:27:14 PM

Open AND in the cloud? SAS Viya sounds appealing. I hope it gets good reviews from early adopters.

Re: SAS's New Architecture
  • 4/25/2016 3:47:33 PM

The mention of an in-memory engine is a standout feature.  There's been a lot of discussion about in-memory databases over the last few years, so incorporating an engine can be a unique appeal to the imagination of developers.

SAS's New Architecture
  • 4/20/2016 9:19:17 AM

Exciting changes taking place at SAS! Thank you for the updates and information on these new products.