Teaming with Compaq and its Digital subsidiary, Microsoft tested the E&P IT water on several fronts. The message was we have industrial strength solutions and are ready to take everyone on! As an illustration of the scalability of the Microsoft/Compaq offering, the Microsoft TerraServer was on display, described as the largest database on the web and most detailed atlas in the world. TerraServer is a joint venture with the USGS, Legato Systems, Aerial Images Inc and StorageTek. TerraServer offers access to a 4 terabyte dataset of aerial and satellite data hosted on an Alpha running SQL Server, Microsofts competitor to Oracle. Such systems are said to scale to up to 14 processors and a huge possible 128 GB of RAM! Check out the TerraServer, and order an aerial photo of your birthplace from www.terraserver.microsoft.com. An intriguing facet of the Microsoft/Compaq/Digital arrival in E&P is the arrival of NT based systems for high performance computing.
This represents a novelty, in that the young execs from Microsoft are pushing the technology with Back Office newspeak. At the same time some old-time number crunching specialists from ex-DEC are back with new found enthusiasm for the 64-bit Alpha platform. Dgital was the manufacturer of the famous PDP and VAX computers, ubiquitous in seismic processing until the arrival of UNIX. Incidentally, Dave Cutler, a DEC operating system guru was the brains behind Microsofts NT OS. Several companies, in concert with Microsoft, announced products that now run on Windows NT. (RC)² have an NT version of Resframe, the 3d reservoir modelling software running on NT. Tsurfs GOCAD geological modeling product is now also an NT port. Volumetrix offers real-time 3D visualization of 2GB datasets on NT. Others reporting NT ports were Paradigm, CGG/Flagship and Geocenter.
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