Landmark's Panasas Solutions Accelerate Seismic Performance

Landmark, a product service line of Halliburton's Drilling and Evaluation Division, announced that it is introducing a parallel storage system that addresses the E&P industry's need for powerful new technologies to process seismic data more quickly.

The move comes as the result of a preferred-reseller and strategic-development agreement between Landmark and Panasas, Inc., a leader in parallel storage solutions. The agreement, which adds Panasas ActiveStor storage clusters to Landmark's portfolio of optimized computing solutions for seismic processing, means that Landmark has tested one of the IT industry's best purpose-built high performance storage technologies - confirming that it is optimized for the unique needs of both small and large E&P companies and seismic processing vendors.

The agreement is well-timed because E&P companies are consistently acquiring huge volumes of new seismic data and also re-analyzing their existing data sets, a phenomenon that often makes it necessary for these companies to process massive, terabyte-level data files. As a result, they are becoming increasingly reliant on their High-Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructures, especially for high input/output jobs.

"High Performance Computing can experience application performance challenges when processing seismic data," said Chris Usher, senior director of technology at Landmark. "This is especially true if the infrastructure is supported by conventional storage technologies, which can't keep pace with the parallel processing functions required for most seismic processing jobs."

As a result, processing hardware must wait while storage systems strain to catch up - creating a textbook input/output bottleneck. Panasas ActiveStor parallel storage clusters, which include the company's PanFS™ parallel file system, eliminate these input/output bottlenecks, leading to significantly improved application performance, linear scalability and higher overall utilization of compute clusters. They are also highly reliable, easy to manage and competitively priced - providing the customer with a high value per terabyte.

"Our agreement with Panasas enables Landmark to offer seismic processing customers of all sizes the advanced storage solutions they've been requesting for their seismic processing infrastructures - at extremely attractive prices," said Usher. "It demonstrates that we are delivering complete solutions for High Performance Computing environments, including a range of bundles consisting of Panasas ActiveStor storage, Linux clusters and our ProMAX SeisSpace software line, as well as related consulting and services offerings."

Victor Perez, CEO of Panasas, underscored the strong customer benefits from this partnership: "Panasas' application-optimized solutions represent the standard in parallel file system and parallel storage technology. Partnering with an E&P solutions market-leader like Landmark will allow customers to achieve a competitive advantage in their race to discover energy resources and generate higher revenues."

Panasas' parallel storage clusters are especially valuable in seismic processing environments because they can scale easily and quickly without disruption. In fact, the storage clusters increase overall processing speed as customers add capacity to their infrastructures. Landmark and its customers have seen throughput double when increasing storage capacity with ActiveStor parallel storage clusters. And since processor speeds and densities are steadily growing, it is becoming increasingly critical to add purpose-built storage for high-performance environments.

Because such environments can be complex to set up and administer, Panasas has designed its ActiveStor storage clusters as an 'appliance' - offering customers a significant deployment and on-going administration advantage, especially those with limited IT staffs.

Landmark's seismic processing R&D group has complemented its agreement with Panasas by extensively optimizing its seismic processing software for High Performance Computing environments, including Landmark's popular line of ProMAX SeisSpace software . As a result, the software can take full advantage of cutting-edge high performance parallel storage systems for more effective data processing. Landmark currently offers the software as a bundled solution with Panasas ActiveStor parallel storage clusters.

"Our seismic processing software optimization is a great example of how Landmark works 'hand in glove' with innovative hardware vendors to enhance software - something we've also done successfully with companies like NVIDIA and Intel," concluded Usher.