What's New in System Administration for the SAS 9.3 Intelligence Platform

Changes to SAS Server Operation, Monitoring, and Logging

SAS 9.3 includes the following changes to operation, monitoring, and logging for SAS servers:
  • The new SAS Framework Data Server is the default location for middle-tier data such as alerts, comments, and workflows, as well as data for the SAS Content Server and SAS Service Parts Optimization. The server is provided as an alternative to using a third-party DBMS. (The server cannot be used as a general-purpose data store.)
  • Audit.Meta.Updates is a new logging category for the SAS Metadata Server that enables you to capture events that are performed on metadata objects. The logged events include adding, updating, deleting, checking out, checking in, and fetching objects, as well as undoing checkouts.
  • Alternative logging configuration files called logconfig.apm.xml are provided for use with the SAS Enterprise BI Audit and Performance Measurement package. This package is available for download from http://support.sas.com/rnd/emi. The logging configuration files are customized for your deployment.
  • In SAS Management Console, you can now use the Server Manager Options tab to dynamically update the JNLLINEMAX and JNLSTRMAX object server parameters. These parameters pertain to the SAS Metadata Server, SAS OLAP Server, and SAS object spawner, as well as to processes on SAS Workspace Servers, SAS Pooled Workspace Servers, and SAS Stored Process Servers. This feature enables you to capture generated XML entries in the metadata server log without stopping the server.

New Backup and Recovery Facility for the SAS Metadata Server

The SAS 9.3 Metadata Server includes a new server-based facility that performs metadata server backups automatically on a scheduled basis. This facility can also be used to perform ad hoc backups and to perform roll-forward recovery. The facility replaces the %OMABAKUP macro, which was available in SAS 9.1 and 9.2, and the Backup and Restore Wizard in SAS Management Console, which was available in SAS 9.2.
The backup and recovery facility provides the following features:
  • A schedule of daily backups is configured by the SAS Deployment Wizard. Therefore, daily backups are taken without the need for administrator intervention. In addition, unscheduled backups are launched automatically in certain situations, such as after the SAS Deployment Wizard configures the SAS Metadata Server.
  • Administrators can use SAS Management Console to change the schedule and the configuration options, including the backup directory location and the backup retention policy. Backups can also be run on an ad hoc (unscheduled) basis from SAS Management Console, from the operating system command line, from SAS, or through third-party scheduling software.
  • When repositories are restored in the event of a metadata server failure, transactions recorded in the journal file can be used to perform roll-forward recovery to a specified point in time after the last backup was taken.
  • SAS Management Console displays detailed backup and recovery history. The history includes all backups that are run using the server’s backup facility, regardless of how the backup was invoked (from the server’s own scheduling facility, from SAS Management Console, from the command line, from SAS, or from third-party scheduling software). Status icons indicate which backups are active and which backups have been deleted based on the retention policy. When you view the properties of a backup, the backup files are validated, and the status icon is updated to indicate whether the backup is usable.
  • The backup process is a “hot” backup that executes in a separate thread while the metadata server is up and running. Therefore, the server does not need to be paused during the backup and all transactions, including updates, continue to be processed.
    If journaling has been disabled or if the Reorganize Repositories backup option has been selected, the server is paused for read-only use, so that queries (but not updates) can continue to be processed.
  • The metadata server runs its own backup and recovery processes. These processes do not rely on any other servers, such as workspace servers, DATA step batch servers, or scheduling servers. Because the metadata server has permission to access all of the needed files, there is no need to set up a host account with special operating system rights and permissions.

Changes to SAS Metadata Server Administration

The following changes have been made to administration for the SAS Metadata Server:
  • In the Metadata Manager in SAS Management Console, the Active Server Properties dialog box includes a new Statistics tab that displays metadata server statistics including CPU seconds, memory utilization, thread utilization, and I/O activity.
  • A new feature has been added to the Metadata Manager in SAS Management Console that enables you to test alert e-mails without stopping the metadata server.
  • Configuration options are available to enable authentication to the e-mail server. These options can be specified in the SAS Deployment Wizard if the custom installation option is selected. They can also be specified in the metadata server invocation command.
  • A new option, -optimizeIMDB, has been added for the metadata server command. This option helps optimize the memory usage of the metadata server by analyzing the handling of character variables. It replaces the %OMARUNAN macro and the RUNANALYSIS option of %OMABAKUP, which were available in previous releases.
  • A new configuration option, OMA JOURNALTYPE=, has been added for the metadata server. This option specifies the type of journal file that is created. The SAS Deployment Wizard sets this option to ROLL_FORWARD during installation or during migration from SAS 9.1.3 or 9.2. The ROLL_FORWARD setting creates a linear journal file that permanently stores all transactions that have occurred since the most recent backup. The journal file is written to the same location as the associated backup files. Transactions recorded in the journal file can be used to perform roll-forward recovery to a specified point in time after the last backup was taken.
  • For Metadata Manager functions such as creating a new repository and registering a repository, the Browse button is now enabled for navigation to the directory path for metadata repositories.

Enhancements to SAS Folders

The following enhancements have been implemented for the SAS Folders tree in SAS Management Console:
  • On the new Search tab, you can search for metadata objects that meet specified search criteria. You can search based on object names, locations, descriptions, object types, creation or modification dates, keywords, and responsibilities. You can save any search to a Search folder. The search is rerun whenever the folder is opened.
  • You can create a Favorites folder in which to save references to often-used metadata definitions. Within the Favorites folder, you can create favorites groups to organize these references.
  • The name of the parent folder that contains users’ home folders has been changed from Users to User Folders. If you use the SAS Migration Utility to migrate to SAS 9.3 from a previous version, then the folder name Users is retained.
  • Virtual folders called Servers and Security are displayed under the System folder in the SAS Folders tree for use in promoting server and security objects.

Enhancements to Promotion Tools

The following enhancements have been added to the promotion tools. These tools include the Export SAS Package and Import SAS Package wizards in SAS Management Console, SAS Data Integration Studio, and SAS OLAP Cube Studio, as well as the batch import and export tools.
  • In SAS Management Console, support has been added for promoting additional object types including security objects (users, user groups, roles, and access control templates) and server objects (SAS Application Servers and their component servers, SAS object spawners, and SAS/CONNECT spawners).
  • Advanced filtering options enable you to identify objects for export based on their keywords, notes, extended attributes, and responsibilities fields.
  • As part of the promotion process, you can reorganize content by specifying new folder locations for individual objects that you are importing. The connections among objects are maintained.
  • When tables or external files are overwritten during an import, you can use the Change Analysis feature to identify and resolve differences in column metadata. (This feature is not available in the batch import tool.)

SAS 9.3 to SAS 9.3 Migration

You can use the SAS Migration Utility along with the SAS Deployment Wizard to create a second SAS 9.3 deployment that contains the same SAS content and the same configuration as an existing SAS 9.3 deployment.

Deprecated Features

The following features have been removed:
  • The following options for the metadata server configuration file (omaconfig.xml) have been deprecated: OMA ALERTEMAILATTACHMENT and OMA JNLPRE. Attachments to alert e-mails for the metadata server are no longer supported.
  • The %OMARUNAN macro has been deprecated. It has been replaced by the -optimizeIMDB option of the metadata server command.
  • The Backup and Restore Wizard has been removed from SAS Management Console, and the %OMABAKUP macro has been deprecated. These features have been replaced by the new metadata server backup and recovery facility.

Documentation Enhancements

The following enhancements have been made to the SAS Intelligence Platform: System Administration Guide:
  • A new chapter about using the Deployment Tester plug-in for SAS Management Console has been added.
  • A new topic about using the Metadata Analyze and Repair utility in SAS Management Console has been added.
  • The documentation for promotion tools has been expanded and reorganized into four separate chapters.