Hardware Continues Getting More Powerful

One thing I’ve noticed in the last four to six months is a trend towards mammoth workstations when it comes to analytics. Almost all the workstations that I consider to be large are in the financial services sector too. It’s not common but not rare anymore for a customer to have a workstation that has 12 to 24 logical CPU’s and 16 to 24 GB of RAM. Most of the workstations in the analytics domain are currently four core and eight core boxes.

What I find interesting in the financial services domain is how they are dominant users of in memory analytical applications. Software such as Statistica, Matlab and R is common for these modelers. Of course, WPS runs on 64-bit hardware and OS platforms so it’s a good fit with these other applications because they have access to the Bridge to R.

On the server side, when MineQuest began reselling WPS, it was very common for companies that were swapping out SAS for WPS to have a single or dual-core server. Of course, much of that decision was pre-made for them because of the cost of the SAS software. Today, I rarely sell a two logical CPU server license and have not sold a single core license at all in the last twelve months. I imagine part of the reason for that is a company cannot find maintenance for these old processors but also the cost differential of WPS vs SAS allows companies and organizations to license more powerful servers. This year the sweet spot for WPS Server licenses are four and eight core boxes on x86 hardware.

It will be exciting to see what the next two years hold in terms of how companies replace hardware and decide to scale their WPS licenses up so they can add more users and more applications. The huge pricing differential allows companies to take advantage of such scales of economy and implement more wide spread BI solutions throughout the company than what they can with their SAS server licenses.

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest, LLC. and has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and is a reseller of WPS in North America.