In its 2015 World Population Prospects report, the United Nations documented the global population at 7.3 billion with 60 percent attributed to rising Asia.
As with most, if not all emerging economies, energy consumption has witnessed exponential growth in recent decades, spurred by expanded economic activity that has done well to lift much of the masses into a more prosperous middle class. Living standards have improved as a consequence, further accelerating demand for energy to power luxuries like air-conditioning, consumer electronics, and automobiles, among others.
So what does this all mean? With global population set to climb to 9.7 billion by 2050m the strain on the world’s energy resources is expected to increase exponentially.
Hitting a Rocky Patch
Here’s where Chuanqing Drilling Engineering (CDE), a Geophysical Prospecting Company of China National Petroleum Corporation, enters the fray. China is the biggest energy consumer in Asia and relies on companies like CDE to uncover new energy sources to feed its ever-growing appetite.
The services offered by CDE are extensive and high in demand both in China and the global stage. They include engineering and geological research, geophysical surveys, drilling engineering, downhole services, mud logging, well logging and perforating, oil and gas field engineering construction and development, civil works, as well as oil/gas field cooperative development.
Specialized these fields are, yet all derive their invaluable insights from seismic data processed by high-performance computing software. Unbeknownst to many, these industry applications are much more robust than the ones that run on any given PC. The algorithms and calculations that make sense of gargantuan raw data solicited from seismic explorations in varying geological environments are extremely complex, owing to the need for mechanical precision that can make or break any mission-critical task.
In this regard, it is not surprising that the few SAN storage systems deployed by CDE had issues handling the massive growth of data from its exploration activities. Reduced storage capacity resulted in diminished performance, which inadvertently made data analysis increasingly challenging.
A Well-Drilled Solution
CDE’s problem was overwhelming to say the least but its solution was one of relative simplicity: a highly scalable, high-performance platform to meet the demands of its exploration activities and data analysis. In essence, a change of CDE’s IT environment was long overdue and called for.
Following comprehensive consultations with EMC, CDE made the decision to implement a single cluster comprising EMC Isilon X410 with 23 nodes, providing scaling capacity up to 1.6 petabytes. With scale-out NAS deployed, the system possessed the further ability to scale up to 50 petabytes when the need eventually called for it.
“EMC Isilon storage is far easier to manage and has resulted in considerable savings. We estimate that we’ve achieved a 33 percent reduction in costs,” says Tang Chengbing, Director of the Computer Center at CDE.
In an industry where financials are monitored in the billions, not millions, 33 percent represents a significant figure that can mean the different between a profitable or loss-making calendar year.
Storage aside, software such as EMC Isilon SmartQuotas and SmartDedupe have enabled CDE to simplify workflows and eliminate duplicates from a high accessible and secure single volume of storage. It is all part of an ecosystem of smarter allocation so working divisions never face a shortage of capacity nor wasteful surplus like they did with disparate storage solutions.
Future Ready Energy Exploration
Problem solved? Yes, but it is just the beginning.
“It is inevitable that data volumes will increase in the next few years, and with that in mind we need strong technical support from our IT partners,” adds Tang.
The diversity and intensity of seismic data analytics will only become more robust as innovation continues to take flight in this vital field. With EMC’s storage infrastructure firmly established in the company’s operating DNA, CDE can now adopt new solutions flexibly in tandem with fast-paced technological progress.
Read the Chuanqing Drilling Engineering Case Study to learn more.