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What are the key features of the Accelion™ managed data access platform?

The Penguin Computing Accelion managed data access platform (MDAP) enables secure, fast and predictable data transfers across a network, even over very long distances.  It does this by maximising existing bandwidth utilisation and minimising the effects of latency, making data transfer times predictable. Due to it being fast and predictable, customers gain the unique capability of mounting a remote file system and operating on remote files as if they were local.  This opens considerable flexibility for more natural workflows and remote collaboration.  Imagine the possibilities for geographically dispersed teams to be able to work together with large data sets or the ability to start analytics on remote data without having to move the whole data set first.  This can remove one of the biggest hurdles to implementing a true, hybrid-cloud computing model. If you do need to move data, say for disaster recovery purposes, the Accelion MDAP can help you keep sites in sync, resulting in shorter recovery time.

What are the benefits for the Oil and Gas industry?

Like many industries, Oil and Gas is highly data-driven, with data collected all over the globe. The Accelion platform allows Oil and Gas customers to make use of those data sets more quickly and in more natural ways than ever before.  And, there can be immediate ROI from making more efficient use of expensive network connections (including satellite links) and being able to shift data centers to less costly locations.

What challenges will Accelion overcome for the Oil and Gas industry?

Oil and Gas businesses face a lot of challenges as they try to increase production and reduce costs.  This is difficult with exploration and production taking place in truly remote locations.  Getting that data, like seismic surveys and well production logs, back to compute facilities delays discovery and increases reaction time to production issues.  Oil and Gas customers also face increasing data center costs, with multiple in-house compute facilities or supporting a hybrid-cloud computing model that requires transferring and storing multiple copies of data.

 

What impact will the increased speed of data have on operations?

The most obvious benefit of Accelion MDAP is the increased speed of access to data.  For operations, this means a sooner start for analytics and faster reaction to production changes. However, think about the new workflows that are possible. Pairing the Penguin Computing Accelion MDAP with our Scyld™ Cloud Workstation, makes it possible for engineering teams to work and collaborate from almost anywhere.

Can this product create cost savings?

I think cost savings is an understated advantage of the Penguin Computing Accelion platform.  Data movement is a necessity for the Oil and Gas industry.  Sometimes, this is done physically, by truck, ship, or plane, because that's more cost-efficient than squeezing the data through a small but expensive network pipe, but, the Accelion MDAP makes that network pipe more efficient.

 

Consider that traditional, network file transfer solution.  It suffers from the underlying protocol, which typically incurs a 70 percent overhead on data transfers.  This means that only 30 percent of the purchased bandwidth is used for actual data.  Extreme file transfer solutions use compression and de-duplication and may handle error recovery at the application layer instead of in the underlying protocol.  This just moves real utilization up to about 40 percent.  That's still over half of the bandwidth being used inefficiently by the protocol.  With the Penguin Computing Accelion solution, we use high-performance protocols to reduce the overhead to about five percent.  Yes, five percent!  This means that around 95 percent of the available bandwidth can be used to carry user data.  So, if higher production is not an interest, perhaps saving money by using a less costly network link has appeal.

 

Other cost savings can be achieved by reducing copy sprawl.  There's no need to make a copy of a data set if the original can be accessed remotely without being moved.  This could enable a true, hybrid cloud computing model, allowing organisations to burst to on-demand compute resources without having to worry about transferring data or incurring additional storage costs. Plus, as an added benefit, the full data set can remain secure in the enterprise data center.

 

For you, how important is data storage for the Oil and Gas industry?, what steps should companies be taking to improve this?

We have all heard that the modern economy is data-driven.  This is no less true for the Oil and Gas industry, as it struggles to manage the explosive growth in data volume.  In recent years, Penguin Computing has seen a monumental shift from traditional, costly and monolithic storage appliances to software-defined storage on open technologies with the ability to scale out to the petabytes of today and the exabytes of tomorrow.

 

But storing the data is not all there is to successfully realising the value of data assets.  Access to the right data set at the right time is key to successful discovery and production.  One approach has been to move computing and personnel resources closer to the data, but this can have high costs and restricted access still limits potential value from being realised.  A better approach is one that securely expands access within the enterprise, reduces capital expenses and grows capabilities.

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