Using SAS to Move Data Between Servers

Published on
9,966 Points
Last Modified:
In today’s complex data management environments, it is not unusual for UNIX servers to be dedicated to a particular department, purpose, or database.  As a result, a SAS® data analyst often works with multiple servers, each with its own data storage environment.  For security reasons, our IT partners often do not make it easy for the servers to talk to one another.  So how do we transfer data between servers?  SAS provides a number of solutions. This paper shows ways to use Remote Compute Services, Data Transfer Services, and Remote Library Services with PROCs  and Data steps to move data between servers or process remote data in-place.  Code samples are provided.  All levels of SAS programmers will find the paper useful and it is relevant to SAS Enterprise Guide® users as well.

Let’s define a situation that’s common in financial institutions and probably most other places.  We’re running SAS on a UNIX server but our data file is on a different UNIX server.  This describes a very simple distributed computing environment.  There can be variations on our situation but a common theme is that the analytical software is on one server and the data is on another.

Now here’s the problem we have to solve:  We need a programmatic solution (no manual intervention) that will let our SAS program use the data located on another computer.  Maybe that sounds familiar?  As usual with SAS, there are multiple ways to solve the problem.  Some are more efficient than others in terms of resource usage and clock time, some are more robust than others, but all are probably appropriate for one situation or another.  

The attached paper (Using SAS to Move Data Between Servers.pdf) was presented at the 2011 SAS Global Forum in Las Vegas, April 6th 2011.  It was awarded Honorable Mention in the Best Paper competition for the Data Integration Section.  It begins with some background on how SAS handles distributed computing environments and creates client-server relationships.  From there it explores specific solutions and get into what everyone really wants… code!

Ask questions about what you read
If you have a question about something within an article, you can receive help directly from the article author. Experts Exchange article authors are available to answer questions and further the discussion.
Get 7 days free