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SGI and Xeon Phi Power Oil & Gas Discovery Down Under

sgi_newToday global geosciences company DownUnder GeoSolutions (DUG) announced the purchase of HPC hardware from SGI. Powered by Intel Xeon Phi, the new systems are expected to significantly improve the rate of discovery and analysis for oil and gas exploration.

With its previous systems, all of DUG’s heavier workloads would take anywhere from hours to months to run. DUG turned to SGI, its trusted advisor for the last decade, to accelerate these processes. Working closely with Intel and SGI, DUG deployed a customized SGI Rackable HPC environment, including 3,800 Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, making it one of the largest commercial deployments of Xeon Phi coprocessors. This provides DUG with an added compute capacity of up to six peak petaflops.

We’ve already started to see dramatic improvements in turn-around times when we compare our upgraded machines to those without co-processors. Our time migration now runs more than 10 times faster. Our depth migration runs six times faster. DUG has also seen its Reverse Time Migration (RTM) run significantly faster through this new technology,” said Dr. Matt Lamont, DUG’s managing director.

Working closely with DUG and Intel, SGI created a customized solution that gives DUG the best combination of performance, density and power consumption for its needs. “SGI’s thorough understanding of our business and the needs of our clients has created a trusted relationship based on innovation and service reliability,” said Lamont.

In a market where cost and time is tight, DUG continues its commitment to development, innovation and research. Combining the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors with our proprietary software, DUG Insight, we’re able to provide our customers with one of the most powerful geo-processing production systems to date,” said Lamont. “Our Intel Xeon Phi powered solutions enable interactive processing and imaging from each of our geophysicists’ individual computers. A testing regime that once took weeks can now be achieved in days. Production on the cluster that once took from weeks to months now takes days.”

The SGI custom-built, high performance workstations have dual socket Intel Xeon E5-2660 v2 processors coupled with dual Intel Xeon Phi 7120A coprocessors, with 16GB of onboard memory per Xeon Phi and 256GB of system memory. Local storage is provided by 24TB of disk and each custom solution is connected by a 10GB non-blocking network.

DUG’s innovative use of Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors is enabling its geophysicists to work with large seismic data sets interactively,” said Charles Wuischpard, vice president and general manager of Workstations and HPC at Intel. “In an industry where time is invaluable, the Intel Xeon Phi-based SGI system allows DUG to test more and faster, leading to better results in a much shorter period of time. Its integration of Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors has enabled them to quickly adapt its existing code and immediately pass this value on to its customers.”

SGI, Intel and DUG will jointly showcase the systems at SEG Denver, which takes place October 26 – 31, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.

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