For more information, see http://support.sas.com/resources/thirdpartysupport/v94/
Parallel Storage Overview
The SAS Scalable Performance Data Engine (SPD Engine) and the SAS Scalable
Performance Data Server (SPD Server) are designed for high-performance data delivery.
They enable rapid access to SAS data for intensive processing by the application.
Although the Base SAS engine is sufficient for most tables that do not span volumes, the
SAS SPD Engine and SAS SPD Server are high-speed alternatives for processing very
large tables. They read and write tables that contain millions of observations, including
tables that expand beyond the 2-GB size limit imposed by some operating systems. In
addition, they support SAS analytic software and procedures that require fast processing
Options for Implementing Parallel Storage
Two options are available for implementing parallel storage:
• The SAS SPD Engine is included with Base SAS software. It is a single-user data
storage solution that shares the high-performance parallel processing and parallel I/O
capabilities of SAS SPD Server, but lacks the additional complexity of a multi-user
The SPD Engine runs in UNIX and Windows operating environments as well as
some z/OS operating environments.
• The SAS SPD Server is available as a separate product. It is a multi-user parallel-
processing data server with a comprehensive security infrastructure, backup and
restore utilities, and sophisticated administrative and tuning options.
The SAS SPD Server runs in Windows and UNIX operating environments.
How Parallel Storage Works
The SAS SPD Engine and SAS SPD Server deliver data to applications rapidly by
organizing large SAS data sets into a streamlined file format. The file format enables
multiple CPUs and I/O channels to perform parallel input/output (I/O) functions on the
data. Parallel I/O takes advantage of multiple CPUs and multiple controllers, with
multiple disks per controller, to read or write data in independent threads.
One way to take advantage of the features of the SAS SPD Engine is through a hardware
and software architecture known as symmetric multiprocessing (SMP). An SMP
machine has multiple CPUs and an operating system that supports threads. These
machines are usually configured with multiple controllers and multiple disk drives per
When the SAS SPD Engine reads a data file, it launches one or more threads for each of
the CPUs in the SMP machine. These threads then read data in parallel from multiple
disk drives, driven by one or more controllers per CPU. The SAS SPD Engine running
on an SMP machine provides the capability to read and deliver much more data to an
application in a given elapsed time.
20 Chapter 3 • Data in the SAS Intelligence Platform