Norway’s Statoil Rolls Out NVIDIA GRID to Manage Costs, Boost Productivity

by Guy Gueritz

Work has never been busier for geologists and geophysicists at Norway’s Statoil, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies.

Lower oil prices have caused the company, which has operations in three dozen countries, to redouble its focus on maximizing efficiency across its business, including IT.

To meet this challenge, Statoil is rolling out virtualized desktops with graphics acceleration powered by NVIDIA GRID to its exploration staff around the world.

Making the Most of Resources Worldwide

NVIDIA GRID will help Statoil migrate to a fully virtualized infrastructure, running its most demanding subsurface and engineering applications from central server facilities.

“We were aware that our blade servers dedicated for this purpose could be idling up to 70 percent of the time during a typical 24-hour period,” explains Jon Erik Bjore, director of Exploration IT at Statoil.

“Given the spiky nature of interactive graphics sessions, we wanted to make better use of our hardware by adopting GPU virtualization,” says Bjore. “We also want to minimize data movement from our central seismic processing servers and storage and boost global collaboration.”

A Better User Experience for More Productive Users

Statoil plans to rationalize its server infrastructure, while at the same time providing a unified user experience and user satisfaction for its exploration teams. Its updated virtualization infrastructure will include NVIDIA GRID deployed on NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPUs in HPE DL380 servers. Applications and data can be available without users logging into specific server locations where software applications are pre-installed.

“Our teams are highly distributed and under pressure to deliver results quickly and accurately,” Bjore says. “Our IT solutions must reflect this and contribute to boosted productivity — delivering on both reduced capital expenditure and operational cost savings.”

Statoil Johan Sverdrup

The Future: Any Application, Any Device, Anywhere

The company is now working on providing individual user profiles for its complete range of workflows and applications. The goal is to enable staff to access these from anywhere, with whatever device they choose — from PCs and thin clients, to tablets and other mobile devices.

Statoil’s GRID deployment begins later this year, with the full solution expected to be operational during 2017.