Grid technology from SAS enables Environmental Health Organization to deliver quick results

Cary 11 August 2003Through its advanced multiprocessing capabilities, which are available to every SAS tool and solution, SAS enables IT organisations and application developers to create a distributed computing environment that leverages unused computing resources to obtain information that would otherwise take weeks or months to process. The ability to do this is at the heart of Grid computing. One of the company's customer is the United States National Institute of Environmental Health Science. In addition, SAS has also joined the Global Grid Forum.


Organisations using SAS' technology in a Grid computing environment significantly speed up processing times for their jobs. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), located in North Carolina, has implemented a Grid that helps them achieve a 95 percent reduction in total elapsed execution time on key research projects.

"Grid computing has enabled NIEHS to see an impressive breakthrough in statistical analysis computations, which aids our scientists in quickly examining their data", stated Roy Reter, IT security officer and systems administrator for NIEHS' Division of Intramural Research.

"SAS software has been critical in making this reduction in execution time possible", added John Grovenstein, computational scientist at the NIEHS. "Through SAS' involvement with the Global Grid Forum, the NIEHS will stay at the forefront of new developments in Grid computing technology and standards. This will enable us to more quickly deliver critical results that impact our environmental health."

"We currently have customers from a variety of industries that are using SAS technology in a Grid environment to reduce total elapsed execution time on a project by as much as 99 percent", stated Keith Collins, SAS' senior vice president and chief technology officer. "Grid computing enables our customers to do more with less, ultimately lowering the total cost of ownership."

Grid computing is a method of harnessing the power of many computers in a network to solve problems requiring a large number of processing cycles and involving huge volumes of data. Grid computing taps the unused processor capacity of hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of computers. In this way, users can achieve much faster results on large projects at a lower cost.

According to Insight Research in Grid Computing: A Vertical Market Perspective 2003-2008, worldwide Grid spending will soar from $250 million in 2003 to $4,89 billion in 2008. Born out of the academic research arena, Grid computing has been recognised as the natural evolution of the Internet and is quickly becoming an important development in the IT sector as the value of Grid computing is realised through the implementation experience from early adopters.

"Grid computing allows our customers to handle their exploding workload requirements to get the information they need in a reasonable timeframe while also staying within IT budgets", continued Keith Collins. "SAS' large-scale parallel processing capabilities are integral in furthering the development of Grid computing. Our involvement in the Global Grid Forum will enable us to exchange knowledge and information with industry leaders in order to advance our current Grid capabilities, as well as to help shape the Grid computing industry in general."

The Global Grid Forum (GGF) is a community-initiated forum of more than 5000 individual researchers and practitioners working on distributed computing, or "Grid", technologies. GGF's primary objective is to promote and support the development, deployment and implementation of Grid technologies and applications via the creation and documentation of best practices, including technical specifications, user experiences and implementation guidelines. The next GGF meeting, GGF9, will be held in Chicago, October 5-8, and is expected to include more than 1000 global Grid leaders.

SAS is a specialised in providing a new generation of business intelligence software and services that create true enterprise intelligence. SAS solutions are used at more than 40.000 sites to develop more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers; to enable better, more accurate and informed decisions; and to drive organisations forward. SAS is the only vendor that completely integrates leading data warehousing, analytics and traditional BI applications to create intelligence from massive amounts of data.

Leslie Versweyveld

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