PetroBank gets a little sister and Magstar has a baby. (December 1996)

IBM announce the Project Data Store (ex-Tigress) and a new low cost High Density Media, Magstar MP.

IBM's is pleased to announce the birth of a little sister to their PetroBank product. The Project Data Store is described as "the industry's most comprehensive upstream E&P project database". For those of you who are not au fait with current trends in E&P data management, and who might think that once you have a Corporate Data Store (CDS), all your worries would be over, think again. Applications, such as E&P interpretation systems like to manipulate and even change data intensively, and it is undesirable to perform this type of activity on the CDS itself. Enter the project data store (PDS), a replication of a subset of the data in the CDS which will be read from, and written to, by the applications themselves.


IBM's PDS provides "data domain support for a wide range of geoscientific technologies, including geophysics, geology, petrophysics, mapping, engineering, reservoir simulation in a single, fully integrated relational data model." In an oblique reference to standards "compliance" IBM announce the conversion of the production data domain areas of the PDS to an Epicentre (V2) footprint. Otherwise, the product is presumably not "POSC compliant" whatever that may mean. IBM announce links to what they describe as "best of breed" applications from companies such as CogniSeis, Geomatic, PGS and Z&S Consultants, with discussions under way with others. Absent from the list are IBM's main competitors GeoQuest and Landmark. Although this is understandable in a commercial sense, it does again illustrate the fact that POSC "compliance" does not mean interoperability.

new media

Meanwhile IBM have also announced a new high density tape subsystem dubbed Magstar MP (Multi-Purpose). This baby Magstar product is a new, slimmed down version of this High Density Media (HDM) offering a storage capacity of 5GB per cartridge and data rates of up to 2.2 MB/s (both values without compression). A novel tape design offers a self-enclosed tape path and a new mid-point load design to reduce random search access times. A robotic unit holding 20 tapes (i.e. 100 GB of uncompressed, near-line storage) retails for around $15,000 US, bringing high density storage to the masses, well nearly!

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