Case Studies

LLog Exploration Finds Dramatic Increases in Productivity with Fusion ioMemory Solutions

Geoscientists gain significant productivity with rapid data access and image generation fueled by Fusion ioMemory PCIe solutions.

Summary of Benefits

  • Fifteen times faster cross-line displays
  • Four times faster timeslice generation
  • Three times faster compleximage generation using a virtual machine running on the ioDrive
  • Geoscientists gain significant productivity with rapid data access and image generation.

The Challenge

LLog’s IT Manager, Terry Hovis, closely monitors the ability of his team to process the datasets used in appraisals. The datasets are large—30GB at the low end to upwards of 900GB for a complete project. Given this size, much time is spent to pull these datasets into memory, run the job and derive crossline and timeslice images from the larger dataset. Only after the images appear on-screen can the highly skilled geophysicists start to do the job of interpretation. Since geophysicists interpret hundreds of these images a day, any delay will significantly reduce productivity.

The challenge becomes even greater in the last few weeks leading up to an oil-and- gas lease auction (which happens at least twice a year). Lease bids can reach tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. Since leases can run up to ten years in length, correctly evaluating a bid decision is essential in this highly competitive environment.


The SanDisk® Solution

Hovis brought in Fusion ioMemory ioDrive® flash solutions to see how much time the new devices would save using their existing 32-bit Seismic Micro-Technology KINGDOM geosciences workflow application on their network. The result? As Hovis put it, “Our interpreters were very impressed with the simple introduction of the ioDrive card and their immediate productivity gains—gains clearly apparent to the geophysicists in the dramatic reduction in their ‘downtime’ when manipulating large datasets.”

Terry ran tests with a typical workload of crossline and timeslice generation on his system. (A crossline is a vertical slice of the seismic 3D subsurface image ”cube”. A timeslice is a horizontal layer of the cube.)

Test Hard Disk ioDrive Result
Crossline Generation 30 Seconds 2 Seconds 15 Times Faster
Timeslice Generation 90 Seconds 22 Seconds 4 Times Faster

Testbed: 30GB dataset, Dell Precision 690, 500GB SATA300 7200RPM, RAID 0 HDD; Fusion ioMemory 160GB ioDrive card

The tests showed dramatic improvement using the ioDrive card—saving more than half the time spent on image generation. In the future, Hovis expects an upgrade to the 64-bit version of SMT KINGDOM will show even greater performance benefits.

Next, Hovis tested the ioDrive card against their most time-consuming problem— running a large-scale timeslice image involving 4.5 million nodes (involving hundreds of square miles of seismic data). In the past, the generation of these types of images would take all night and was run in a batch process. The user’s system would be locked at 100% utilization and unavailable then for any other work—requiring the overnight operation.

For this test, Hovis ran his SMT application on a virtual machine (a Windows 2008 Server running Hyper-V) with the SMT instance running completely on the ioDrive card to process the job.

Test Hard Disk ioDrive Result
Timeslice Generation of 4.5 million nodes 30 minutes @ 100% CPU utilization 10 minutes @ 0% CPU utilization 3 Times Faster

Testbed: Dell Precision 690, 500GB SATA300 7200RPM, RAID 0 HDD; Fusion ioMemory 160GB ioDrive card on Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V using a Windows XP virtual machine

Not only was the image generated three times faster using the ioDrive card, but multiple jobs could now be run in parallel even during working hours. This would free the local server and workstation so the geophysicist could remain productive in what used to be considered “lost time.”

“The pressure is on as the auction approaches,” says LLog’s Hovis. “Our geophysicists work right up to the auction deadline evaluating all relevant survey and mapping information to make the best decision.”

System Before

  • Jobs run in serial on each workstation
  • Each job takes roughly 30 minutes to complete
  • All jobs had to be run in the corporate office

System After

  • Jobs run in parallel on multiple virtual machines
  • Jobs on virtual machines complete in 10 minutes
  • All jobs can now be run either locally or remotely

Performance per Rack Unit (Density)

With SanDisk
Without SanDisk
Consolidated servers from 3U to 1U = 3 times. Improved job processing from 30 to 10 = 3 times. 3*3 = 9x greater performance density.


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