SGI for Total’s geophysicists

Total has acquired a 256 processor SGI Altix 3000 for its seismic processing effort.

Total has bought a 256 processor SGI Altix 3000 ‘supercluster’ for its seismic processing department. The new system will complement the company’s existing SGI infrastructure and will be integrated into its SGI CXFSTM shared filesystem storage area network (SAN).

Itanium 2

The Altix system will be located at Total’s technical center in Pau, France where researchers support Total’s 44 E&P subsidiaries throughout the world. The system comprises 256 Intel Itanium 2 processors running at 900 MHz, with 1TB memory and 16TB of disk storage. Estimated total bandwidth is quoted as around 1 Terra Flop (a million million operations per second).


Total’s head of geoscience information systems Arnaud Althabegoity said, “We are continuing to work with SGI, a partners since 1998, because the new Altix 3000 supercluster is by far the most suitable machine for our applications”. Launched in January 2003, the SGI Altix 3000 supercluster deploys an optimized Linux environment capable of scaling to 64 Itanium 2 processors per node and to hundreds of processors in a cluster configuration.


SGI VP Steve Coggins added, “The Altix provides oil and gas companies with an unbeatable combination of powerful high-performance computing technologies in a Linux environment. Total’s purchase underscores SGI’s commitment to developing and bringing to market the tools necessary for the breakthrough achievements of the 21st century.”


SGI recently announced a restructuring plan to cut $40 million costs with a reduction of approximately 400 positions, or 10% of the company’s workforce. The reduction is intended to preserve customer-facing activities, protect customer investments, and accelerate a return to profitability.

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