Active Directory Authentication for SAS on Linux (with realmd)

This is another post in the series about configuring a SAS platform on Linux to use Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA), in this post I’m going to jot down some notes on steps 1-7 – configuring the Linux server for Active Directory (AD) Authentication.

Some time has passed since I wrote the original post, and a few things have changed. I’m now running SAS 9.4 M3, but this post should equally apply to SAS 9.4 M2. I have also switched the Linux distribution from Debian to CentOS 7.1. I am also using a much simpler method of joining the Linux server to the AD domain, using the realmd package (previously there were lots of individual steps using the underlying packages but realmd automates most of this). In this post I’m going to outline the simpler method using realmd of course.

Here goes … Read More »

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SAS Download Manager in Console Mode

SAS® 9.4 M3 is now available (as discussed by Andy Ratcliffe in his recent NOTE: blog post), so I’m downloading a new SAS depot using the SAS Download Manager. I’m downloading it onto a Linux server that happens to have X11 available, but I’m choosing to use console (text) mode, rather than the default X11 windowed mode.

Using SAS Download Manager in console mode is my preferred method because I find it more flexible. Why Console mode? I know from experience that a SAS depot download is going to take a few hours and, if I run SAS Download Manager in windowed mode, I risk losing the remote X connection if there are any network disruptions between me and the server. By running SAS Download Manager in console mode, in combination with screen over an SSH session, I can easily disconnect/reconnect as required. I can disconnect (Control-A D) when I leave the office to go home, and reconnect (screen -r) when I get home to check on progress. I can also get screen to capture a log of the session in a text file (screen -L).

Of course, I could have used a Windows or Mac version of the SAS Download Manager to download onto a laptop and then upload onto the server, but that ties the laptop to a single location for the duration of the download. Plus if I’m not near the server at the time, I’d have to download and then upload nearly 50GB of SAS depot. If I’m traveling with my 4G mobile broadband connection, the server also has a much faster and much cheaper internet connection than I do! These are some of the reasons I prefer console mode.

To run SAS Download Manager in console mode Read More »

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Testing Recommended Practices with SAS Metadata Security

If you use our Metacoda Security Testing Framework to continuously and automatically validate your SAS® platform metadata security implementations, then you’ll be interested in some new ‘recommended practice’ tests that are coming in the next release of Metacoda Plug-ins (version 5.0).

Are you are a fan of the Danish Golden Rules for SAS metadata security? Several of our new recommended practice tests can also help you enforce those rules for your SAS platform installations. The six golden rules can be found in SAS Global Forum 2011 paper 376-2011 “Best Practice Implementation of SAS® Metadata Security at Customer Sites in Denmark” by Cecily Hoffritz and Johannes Jørgensen from SAS Institute Denmark. It’s excellent paper that I often recommend to other SAS platform administrators. By following the golden rules presented in that paper you’ll find SAS metadata security much easier to understand and manage.

You might also notice that some of these recommended practice tests look like test-based alternatives to the recommend practice indicators currently available in Metacoda Security Plug-ins. These new recommended practice tests are a little bit smarter and also allow for exclusions – where you know a recommended practice is not being followed but have a good reason for doing so. While the indicators require someone to regularly look for them, the recommended practice tests can be scheduled to email an alert to someone whenever deviations from the practices are detected.

Here are some details and examples of the new recommended practices tests that will be available in Metacoda Security Plug-ins 5.0. I also point out which tests will help with enforcing the Danish Golden Rules. Read More »

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