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The Institute of Research, Exploration and Development, a department of the Xinjiang Oilfield Company, is a leader in applying science and technology to the most challenging work in the petrochemical industry: finding hidden oil reserves. It is difficult, data-intensive work that relies on complex analysis of seismic reflection data to construct detailed maps of the strata.
Needing High-performance Storage for High-performance Computing
The process uses specialized software applications, requires high-performance storage, and generates a huge amount of data. The Institute’s roughly 640 nodes and 7,000 cores generate 30TB to 40TB per project—each year, the team needs to add over 100TB of new capacity. As Xinjiang Oilfield’s parent company, PetroChina, placed greater emphasis on western resources, the Company realized that its existing disk and network-attached storage (NAS) infrastructure would not be able to handle the increased demand.
The IT team needed new storage to support higher-speed processing—both higher bandwidth and faster I/O connections. The team placed a premium on performance, including InfiniBand support for bandwidth-sensitive applications. The solution also needed to support their existing CGG applications, as well as scale for the future.
Adopting a High-Performance Storage Platform from Quantum
To meet the demands, the Xinjiang Oilfield team selected a StorNext scale-out storage solution from Quantum. The solution includes StorNext QD6000 RAID storage, dual-redundant StorNext Metadata Appliances for high speed access to data, and StorNext Gateway Appliances. The configuration supports InfiniBand for highest performance, provides IP connectivity for day-to-day operations, and is fully compatible with all the standard applications used for oil and gas exploration, including CGG applications.
Deploying a Proven Storage Solution Proved to be Quick and Easy
Deployment was fast and simple, due to the combination of Quantum’s preconfigured solution and Quantum’s experience with oil and gas exploration. The entire project—preparing all the equipment, installing hardware, building the operating environment, deploying the network, testing, adjusting and optimization—was completed in just two months.
“The new InfiniBand network architecture enabled better performance and higher speed than the previous IP network. The overall speed of our operations was dramatically improved— and thanks to the adjustment and optimization process—the entire system operates smoothly,” explains Zhang Feng, director of the Information Center at Xinjiang Oilfield Company. “The project was completed quite rapidly and drove our business growth effectively.”
Support & Training from Quantum Meets HPC Workflow Demands
Quantum provided system and technical support, and trained the Institute’s IT team during implementation. Quantum’s oilfield IT experience allowed the team to deploy the system quickly and fine-tune it to improve performance with specific, critical applications.
“Quantum has provided us with a mature storage solution that has been proven in the oil industry, with a well-designed architecture that provides superior flexibility and scalability to meet the demands of our high-performance computing environment,” says Feng. “In terms of actual application, the solution provides high performance and responsiveness as expected. Finally, with excellent usability and manageability, the solution provides great support for us.”
Scalability of StorNext Supports Future Growth
StorNext’s scalability provides an effective path for growing its system in the future. New storage arrays can be added easily to the existing environment, with the new capacity seamlessly becoming part of the existing storage pool.
Located in Karamay City, Xinjiang Province, the Xinjiang Oilfield Company—a part of PetroChina Company Limited —is the largest petroleum-producing enterprise in western China. The company is primarily engaged in oil and gas exploration and development, extraction and transportation, and scientific research. The company is one of the leading companies in China’s petroleum industry, with accumulated oil production of 200 million tons. The company’s Institute of Research, Exploration and Development is in charge of conducting the search for new deposits using high-performance computing techniques.