PDM gets to the bottom of Network Attached Storage.

PDM was curious to learn more about the rationale behind the network attached storage appliance. NetApp’s Vaugh Miller and Adam Trunkey explained all and GeoQuest’s Brad Youmans added a few words a propos of SeisLink

PDM - what are the key applications served by NetApp?

Trunkey - NetAp provides large capacity network attached disk storage for seismic processing and interpretation including  application binaries, Oracle databases and both Unix and NT data.

PDM - is the system tailored for upstream computing?

Miller - No but upstream computing makes heavy use of our Write Anywhere File Layout - WAFL.

Trunkey - the product was not just developed for the oil and gas industry. We are offering a standardized solution to a generic issue.

PDM - What is the underlying technology?

Trukey - Our technology mirrors the approach adopted by CISCO. They looked at how UNIX boxes were being used as routers, and very successfully broke out the code from the kernel that was actually doing the router’s work. We have done the same thing for the file server. Our ONTAP operating system is a small subset of the millions of lines of error-prone code that make up a full blown operating system. This brings our failure rate down to below 1 hour per year.

Miller - Basically a computer node and a big disk is not a solid solution to this problem. We have taken I/O and file management out of the operating system.

PDM - what exactly are you working on with GeoQuest?

Miller- We have integrated GeoQuest’s PetaStar solution and will be showing this at the Calgary SEG next month. Here the SAM FS acts as a buffer between NetApp storage and the Sony DLT robot. This allows data to be managed. You can check a  time stamp and move data to near-line storage based on an administrator-defined schedule. This is an intelligent migration tool that understands E&P data types. Upstream usage profiles include real-time data backup and project management.

PDM - who is using this solution?

Trunkey - Companies such as BP Amoco, Shell, Chevron and Western Geophysical all use NetApp devices.


GeoQuest’s Brad Youmans added "The NAS solution marketplace has a serious market leader in NetApp with over 100% revenue growth and significant market capture as a stand alone Filer solution. The next step is to integrate broader E&P work flows. The nature of seismic data dictates the solution architecture, SeisLink will move and manage data between near-line and on-line NetApp systems in compliance with open storage standards and network data management protocols (NDMP).  The development phase is in beta test in our Houston lab.

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