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Case Study

SAS Migration at a Worldwide Research Institute


Challenge: Modernize a Research Institute’s Technology Infrastructure with Zero Downtime

 A leading independent research organization was feeling competitive pressure due to legacy architecture and its associated costs. They need more computing power without incurring downtime to maintain current production demands.

Solution: Focus on Change Management to Deliver a Pain-free Migration

We delivered a faster, more sustainable environment that avoided disruption in the institute’s work in progress. End users shifted to modern platforms and adapted to a high-performance computing environment without the frustrations associated with a major migration.

Results: Reduced Operational Overhead with Improved Flexibility

The Institute thrives with high end-user satisfaction in new processes for distributed teams that require less ongoing support from IT. Overhead is lower, and the institute shares and allocates computing resources more effectively while offering greater flexibility for analysts.

A Leading Research Organization Hampered by Outdated Systems

With a staff of more than 6,000 people across four continents, the research institute is dedicated to studying global issues impacting the human condition. Every year, the organization undertakes hundreds of projects to address social challenges on behalf of governments, businesses, and universities. But as analytics and research technology have advanced, their outdated systems left the institute in danger of falling behind.

 The Institute was hampered by Legacy architecture that demanded costly software licenses and administrative overhead, and the institute was struggling to maintain response times for reports. The institute’s analytics methodologies relied on a blend of SAS and open source tools, including Stata and R. Incorporating an antiquated mix of desktop machines, servers, and virtual machines, the Institute’s analytics environment had become inefficient and unsustainable.

Any new environment to be implemented without any downtime, which in infrastructure terms was akin to replacing a building’s plumbing while the building was in use. Plus, any new system needed to be nimble enough to satisfy rapidly changing regulatory standards, including HIPPA and PCI.  

Without a much-needed upgrade, the organization’s competitive standing was at risk.

Boost Performance Through a Stable, Shared Environment and Change Management

With Zencos serving as the Institute’s technology advisor, we designed and built a new environment flexible enough to incorporate the organization’s distributed needs while satisfying its compliance requirements. We migrated users to a high-performance, shared environment that reduced emphasis on desktop machines while supporting existing analytics methodologies. 

Given that the organization was migrating from legacy architecture, our primary focus was change management issues generated by platform changes, which included moving from Windows to Linux. Our modernization expertise ensured the new environment would be centralized, shared, and deliver greater bandwidth and performance for each user. With a new, flexible environment, RTI

RTI Secures a Stable Future with Low Overhead and High User Satisfaction

By standardizing the people, processes, and technology behind their work, the Institute’s modernization initiative lowered operational overhead and reduced demands on its IT team. Along with undergoing a successful migration to a new, centralized environment, the team is empowered to work faster and with stability needing minimal IT support.

SAS Office Analytics enables the institute’sRTI’s distributed specialists to access the data they need from anywhere. Through SAS Grid Manager, theirRTI’s IT team is also empowered to better manage their computing workload and keep their system balanced and running smoothly. 

The InstituteRTI has completed 10 service contracts with Zencos for ongoing service and platform support. Our managed service plan Zenguard continues to provide cost-effective access to the administrative expertise the organization needs to operate at a high level. Whether you need a plan to expand and update your existing resources or bring your computing capabilities up to the speed of today’s technology, we want to hear from you.

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