Netezza for BP

A ‘data intensive supercomputer’ is being trialed at BP. The system uses FPGA technology for massively parallel processing of oilfield data.

BP presented the results of early tests of Netezza’s ‘Data Intensive Supercomputer’ at an invitation-only event in Houston last month. The benchmark squared off a Netezza Performance Server (NPS) against competing solutions from Teradata, SGI and Dell/Oracle. A Netezza rep intimated to Oil IT Journal that the BP Field of the Future (FotF) test showed a ‘15 to 30 fold’ speedup over the next closest competitor at ‘a fraction of the cost and footprint.’ BP now has two NPS systems running data warehouse applications in support of its FotF operations in the Gulf of Mexico. A Netezza blade comprises a field programmable gate array (FPGA) along with disk, memory and a Power PC. Data is striped across blades such that a query runs simultaneously across hundreds of FPGAs. Filtering data as it streams from storage means that only a small subset of data has to be processed.

The technology is said to be suited to 4D seismic time lapse studies as very large datasets can be compared on the fly. Netezza is currently in talks with the University of Houston’s Mission-Oriented Seismic Research Program (M-OSRP) to set up a seismic test. Netezza has also seen application in other verticals including telcos and homeland security. Netezza’s biggest customer is the NYSE with a 500 TB real time dataset.

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