Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Sematext Blog, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, PagerDuty Blog, Elizabeth White

Blog Feed Post

Benchmarking RRE and SAS

by Thomas Dinsmore Regular readers of this blog may be familiar with our ongoing effort to benchmark Revolution R Enterprise (RRE) across a range of use cases and on different platforms.  We take these benchmarks seriously at Revolution Analytics, and constantly seek to improve the performance of our software.  Previously, we shared results from a performance test conducted by Allstate.   In that test, RRE ran a GLM analysis in five minutes; SAS took five hours to complete the same task.  A reader objected that the test was unfair because SAS ran on a single machine, while RRE ran on a five node cluster.  It's a fair point, except that given the software in question (PROC GLM in SAS/STAT) the performance would be the same on five nodes or a million nodes, since PROC GLM can scale up but not out. Arguing that the Allstate benchmark was "apples to oranges", SAS responded by publishing its own apples to orange benchmark.  In this benchmark, SAS demonstrated that its new HPGENSELECT procedure is very fast when it runs on a 144 node grid with 2,304 cores.  As noted in the paper, this performance is only possible if you license more software, since HPGENSELECT can only run in Distributed mode if the customer licenses SAS High Performance Statistics. We will be happy to stipulate that PROC HPGENSELECT runs faster on 2,304 cores than RRE on 20 cores. As a matter of best practices, software benchmarks should run in comparable hardware environments, so that we can attribute performance differences to the software alone and not to differences in available computing resources.   Consequently, we engaged an outside vendor with experience running SAS in clustered environments to perform an "apples to apples" benchmark of RRE vs. SAS.  The consultant used a clustered computing environment consisting of five four-core commodity servers (with 16G RAM each) running CentOS, Ethernet connections and a separate NFS Server. We tested RRE 7 versus SAS Release 9.4, with Base SAS, SAS/STAT and SAS Grid Manager.  (We did not test with SAS High Performance Statistics because we could find no vendors with experience using this new software.  We note that more than two years into General Availability, SAS appears to have no public reference customers for this software.)  In our experience, when customers ask how we perform compared to SAS, they are most interested in how we compare with the SAS software they already use. To test Revolution R Enterprise ScaleR, we first deployed IBM Platform LSF and Platform MPI Release 9 on the grid, then installed Revolution R Enterprise Release 7 on each node.  SAS Grid Manager uses an OEM version of IBM Platform LSF that cannot run concurrently with the standard version from IBM, so we configured the environment and ran the tests sequentially.   To simplify test replication across different environments, we used data manufactured through a random process.  The time needed to manufacture the data is not included in the benchmark results.  Prior to running the actual tests, we loaded the randomized data into each software product’s native file system: for SAS, a SAS Data Set; for Revolution R Enterprise, an XDF file. Although we have benchmarked Revolution R Enterprise on data sets as large as a billion rows, typical data sets used by even the largest enterprises tend to be much smaller.  We chose to perform the tests on wide files of 591 columns and row counts ranging from 100,000 to 5,000,000, file sizes that represent what we consider to be typical for many analysts.  We also ran scoring tests on “narrow” files of 21 columns with row counts ranging up to 50,000,000. Rather than comparing performance on a single task, we prepared a list of multiple tasks, then wrote programs in SAS and RRE to implement the test.  Readers will find the benchmarking scripts here, on Git together with a script to produce the manufactured data. To implement a fair test, we asked the SAS consultant to review the SAS programs and enable them for best performance in the clustered computing environment. Detailed results of the benchmark test are shown here, in our published white paper RRE ran the tasks forty-two times faster than SAS on the larger data set RRE outperformed SAS on every task The RRE performance advantage ranged from 10X to 300X The RRE advantage increased when we tested on larger data sets SAS’ new HP PROC, where available, only marginally improved SAS performance We invite readers to use the scripts in your own environment; let us know the results you achieve. Revolution Analytics Whitepapers: Revolution R Enterprise: Faster Than SAS 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By David Smith

David Smith is Vice President of Marketing and Community at Revolution Analytics. He has a long history with the R and statistics communities. After graduating with a degree in Statistics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, he spent four years researching statistical methodology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, where he also developed a number of packages for the S-PLUS statistical modeling environment. He continued his association with S-PLUS at Insightful (now TIBCO Spotfire) overseeing the product management of S-PLUS and other statistical and data mining products.<

David smith is the co-author (with Bill Venables) of the popular tutorial manual, An Introduction to R, and one of the originating developers of the ESS: Emacs Speaks Statistics project. Today, he leads marketing for REvolution R, supports R communities worldwide, and is responsible for the Revolutions blog. Prior to joining Revolution Analytics, he served as vice president of product management at Zynchros, Inc. Follow him on twitter at @RevoDavid

@ThingsExpo Stories
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.