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MP CONNECT - Scale Up and Scale Out

Multi-process CONNECT (MP CONNECT) allows you to perform work in parallel and coordinate the results into your original SAS session for the purpose of reducing the total elapsed time necessary to execute a particular application. By dividing time-consuming tasks into multiple units of work and executing these units of work in parallel, a job can be performed in substantially less time than if each task is performed sequentially.

The benefits of MP CONNECT include:

MP CONNECT provides a convenient syntax for spawning n SAS sessions to simultaneously execute n tasks as independent processes and coordinate the execution and results of all n tasks into the original SAS session. The n SAS sessions or processes can all execute on the same SMP machine with each session or process running on a separate processor. However, if you don't have the horsepower of an SMP machine, MP CONNECT has the flexibility to spawn multiple SAS sessions to run on any number of remote machines across a network. The remote machines can have either single or multiprocessor capabilities. Single processor remote workstations are not only much less expensive than large SMP machines, but they each come equipped with their own cpu, disk drive(s), and I/O channel and are unlimited in number!

In addition, MP CONNECT has added piping in SAS 9. This enables you to run a SAS process that executes a procedure or data step which pipes its output as input to another procedure or data step running in another SAS process. This execution overlap can also help to reduce the time to solution. For more information on piping, click here.

MP CONNECT is part of SAS/CONNECT and was initially available with SAS 8. It works at the process level creating multiple SAS sessions or processes to execute in parallel. Because the interface to MP CONNECT is syntactic, it does require that you analyze your application to identify parallel tasks and then insert the appropriate syntax to cause these tasks to execute in parallel. For details about the MP CONNECT syntax, refer to Multiprocessing with Version 8 of the SAS System However, this paper does deal with SAS 8 and does not include any of the new syntax for SAS 9. That information will be added to this page at a later time.