[show_avatar email=larry.kaufman@emc.com align=left avatar_size=30]“I don’t care if the storage is full. I need my interpretation projects to stay online…..forever.”

I am sure that IT managers and data administrators managing upstream oil and gas interpretation environments hear this all the time from Geoscientists. The folklore that drives this attitude from the geoscientists says that many have had bad experiences with getting data back once it has been moved off primary storage to tape. Either it takes too long to get the data restored from tape, if the tape can be found, or the full “project” structure of the data might have been compromised in the standard file system type backup to tape and intellectual property has been lost.

From the IT management side the typical conundrum is, “My storage is full, again. My budget has been cut. Do I really need to buy more? If so, how much?”

The reality of the situation is that 60%-80% of the project data in a typical interpretation environment has not been touched in over six months. In addition, new interpretation technologies require more data types like pre-stack to be online. Once relegated to certain specialized workflows, pre-stack usage in interpretation has grown dramatically to help get a firm grasp on complex imaging situations, such as sub-salt. Pre-stack, which has historically been stored on tape is now required to be online to support real time interpretation functions.

So how can we help the IT side do more for less while ensuring the Geoscience user community that their data will always be accessible and also support keeping more data types online? EMC has a new technology called Isilon PetroVault (.pdf)  scale-out network attached storage (NAS) that can be used to build a very scalable 2nd tier of storage between your existing primary storage and tape. Coupled with the EMC Cloud Tiering Appliance, business rules can be set to automatically migrate data from your primary storage to a more efficient Tier 2 built on Isilon. The beauty of this is that the applications think that the data is still on primary storage so all the project data is still accessible.

PetroVault Tier 2 storage on Isilon technology with the Cloud Tiering Appliance managing the data delivers a 35% cost reduction compared to keeping all data on primary storage. This solution works underneath your existing primary storage architecture eliminating the need for forklift upgrades while also eliminating the need to add additional primary storage.

So let’s gain back the trust of the geoscientists while also gaining more capacity on our primary storage by moving that stale, but very important data to a more cost efficient technology.  Performance on primary storage will increase, data will always be readily accessible by the Geoscience applications and storage costs can be kept under control.  All possible with EMC Isilon PetroVault Tier 2 technology.

Have you experienced a similar scenario? We’d like to hear about it. Please comment below. And if you happen to be at SEG Annual Meeting next week in San Antonio, drop by our booth for a presentation or chat.

Larry Kaufman

Larry Kaufman

Larry Kaufman, Chief Industry Architect for EMC’s Global Energy Program, is responsible for developing and delivering complex, integrated solutions based on EMC and partner technologies that solve challenging business problems and workflows within the Oil and Gas Industry. Larry began his career in Oil and Gas as an open-hole wireline engineer. Larry also spent 16 years with Landmark Graphics and Halliburton in various sales, technology development and management roles as Landmark grew from 60 employees to over 2000 before being acquired by Halliburton. Larry has a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and has over 24 years of experience developing and deploying information technology solutions serving the upstream oil and gas industry. Outside of work Larry enjoys wood working and spending time at the lake with family and friends.
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