Five-year prediction for future of petroleum desktop computing (September 1996)

Peter Flanagan, Geophysical Product with Manager, GeoGraphix forecasts trends in E&P IT over next five years.

I'm pleased to provide you with our view of trends in petroleum computing on the Wintel (Windows + Intel) platform. And we are quite unashamed in our proselytizing for that platform in our business. My best guess is that we will see the majority of the desktop petroleum computing market go over to PCs over the next 5 years. However, Unix will probably survive in a compute and database server role for quite a while. With the advent of the Pentium Pro, the compute performance advantage of the Unix desktop workstation has been largely eliminated. Unix workstations, such as the SGI, retain a 3D graphics performance advantage, but I expect that advantage to largely disappear over the next 18 months. In the server arena however, many factors, such as 64 bit addressing, will permit the survival of Unix for quite a while.

32 bit

SeisVision is a 32 bit program designed to run on Windows NT. It will also run on Windows 95. There are no inherent limitations with dataset size, other than those limitations imposed by NT. So, for example, the largest 3D survey that could be loaded depends on largest file that could be allocated on an NT disk partition. We do not support spanning of partitions. The major Unix based 3D seismic interpretation systems do this to get around the 4 gbyte filesize limitation of Unix. Customers keep loading larger and larger surveys into SeisVision. 1 think the current record is about a onemillion trace survey. 1 have personally run benchmarks on surveys about half that size. Running on a Pentium Pro PC (our recommended platform) with pienty of memory (64 mbytes), performance is actually quite good for this size survey. Displaying a line takes on the order of 2-3 seconds. Autopicking a horizon takes about one minute. It's fair to say that SeisVision performs very well on small to medium to large sized 3D surveys. Performance on very large surveys (4 million traces or more) is still unexplored territory.

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