Making the Move

On-premise SAS migration to AWS: costs and savings

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Corios has helped several SAS clients modernize their data and analytics assets, practices and workloads, most commonly to move them from on-premise-only to AWS, or hybrid on-premise and AWS. Our solution suite for modernizing SAS analytics is Corios Rosetta. One of the initial steps in helping the client qualify whether they should entertain this step is to calculate the change in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). As Certified AWS Solutions Architects and a Select Tier AWS Consulting Partner, we perform this task for our SAS clients on a routine basis. Here is a summary of what we’ve learned from conducting the pricing estimates and TCO savings for these clients.

T-Shirt sizes

assorted color folded shirts on wooden panelFirst, clients tend to fall into one of three “t-shirt” sizes in terms of their SAS data and workload needs, which tends to be driven more by storage than by number of users or number of compute hours.

  • The “small” t-shirt size is characterized by storage requirements between 50-400TB (average of 275TB), with AWS annual compute costs averaging $250,000, and supporting between 25 and 200 SAS users.
  • The “medium” t-shirt size is characterized by storage requirements between 500-1000TB (average of 750TB), with AWS annual compute costs averaging $400,000, and supporting between 20 and 500 SAS users.
  • The “large” t-shirt size is characterized by storage requirements above 1000TB (average of 1.5PB), with AWS annual compute costs averaging $625,000, and supporting more than 500 SAS users.

Events driving an analytics migration to the cloud

The critical events that drive a client’s readiness to move from pure on-premise to all-cloud or hybrid cloud include:

  • An upcoming data center contract renewal, migration or termination
  • An upcoming data storage vendor contract renewal
  • Reaching the limits of existing on-premise file systems and compute platforms, prompting an additional investment that may require months to approve and deliver
  • End of life for some critical piece of infrastructure or software license that is used to support the SAS environment

How much can we save?

Through modernization of the data storage, data center infrastructure, workload computations, and integration of SAS workloads with open source development streams going on elsewhere in the enterprise, SAS clients can save between 40% to 60% of their on-premise annual cost structure by migrating and modernizing their data and analytics on AWS.

Wait, really?

Corios shifted its own compute infrastructure from a private regional data center provider that offered SOC2 and PCI-DSS audits (just like Corios does on the managed services side of our business) to AWS and we saved over 70% in our annualized data center costs. Admittedly we’re not as large as one of our banking or insurance clients, but our compute intensity is a lot larger, and we operate roughly 40 compute server hosts and roughly 20 file systems, so the savings mean a lot to our business.

What should I do next?

If you want to conduct this benchmarking on your own enterprise, you should learn more about Corios Rosetta. We can help you rapidly inventory and score all your SAS data and analytics workloads, prioritize them for migration and modernization, and integrate them with your cloud and open source strategies. Or email me today at

Robin Way

The Founder and President of Corios, Robin’s professional passion lies in democratizing and demystifying the science of applied analytics. An established thought leader fueled with 30 years’ experience in the design, development, execution and improvement of applied analytics models, Robin welcomes every opportunity to move the analytics conversation forward.

Connect with him on LinkedIn , or reach out to Corios to get in touch.