Welcome!

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

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
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
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...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, 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.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
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, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, 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 opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...