Miller—we are seeing good growth in the oil and gas industry—BP has chosen NetApp (along with Landmark Graphics) as a component of its global standardized architecture. Shell has standardized on our solution and we have a strategic alliance with Schlumberger in the US.
OITJ—Do oils need specific hardware?
Miller—There are many differences between oil and gas and generic business storage solutions. E&P is concerned with performance, capacity and scalability. In business IT, data protection is achieved by a layered approach but for E&P, layered solutions just get in the way.
Lin—The SEG is now dominated by hardware—clusters, multiple CPUs and Gigabit connectivity are commoditized. NetApp has a solid footprint in this space with over 7 PetaBytes installed in the last five years (mostly for interpretation). And this is growing astronomically.
Oil ITJ—What’s coming in Ontap 7G?
Lin—Snapshots are a popular function for upstream users—providing a point in time picture of a directory. This makes it easy to recover data without system administrator intervention. These solutions are tuned to Landmark or Schlumberger data management best practices. This is where the ease of use of our FlexFiles and Flex Clones comes in.
Oil ITJ—It sounds as though NetApp is moving from hardware into the software and application arena.
Miller—Yes! We are working with Landmark and Schlumberger and we are also talking to the major oils. All of NetApp’s energy vertical staff come from the oil and gas industry—including application programmers. We are also moving into the application space with other vendors including Paradigm and WesternGeco.
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