Data is Drillinginfo’s most important asset. To support a growing business and new services, serving up insights rapidly is vital—and the company sought out a more reliable, scalable storage platform.
By deploying IBM® Spectrum Storage and IBM® Storage solutions, Drillinginfo transformed storage management, enabling unprecedented service continuity while driving up efficiency.
8xsmaller storage footprint makes room for growth and reduces TCO
75%compression rate optimizes storage resources with no negative performance impact
Highreliability enables stellar customer service and supports innovation
Business challenge story
Burning through inefficient storage
In the oil and gas industry, fast access to information about new opportunities and risk reduction can give a company a crucial edge over its competitors. Recognizing this, Drillinginfo built its business on a central source of information designed to help oil and gas companies make optimal decisions. However, when the prices of oil plummeted, the company knew that it needed to step up its game.
Andy Davis, Storage Architect for Drillinginfo, explains: “We used to be very dependent on the oil and gas markets, which meant that when they experienced losses, so did we. Rather than waiting for prices to rally, we decided to be proactive and extend our service offering to include a wider range of commodities and analytics.”
To provide increasingly detailed insights to a growing number of customers, Drillinginfo.com needed more from its storage infrastructure. Specifically, the company saw an opportunity to simplify storage management and optimize use of storage resources.
“Information is at the heart of what we do,” says Davis. “We have almost one billion files across the business, and without reliable access to that data, our service would grind to a halt. In the past, whenever we needed more storage we simply connected more disks to our SAN. Recently, we began growing so quickly that we could hardly add new storage to our environment fast enough—and we realized that continuing to scale our environment in this way would increase our risk of data loss and downtime in the event of a disaster recovery scenario. We targeted a smarter approach: a secure storage environment with a single point of control, so I can sleep peacefully knowing our data is always protected.”
Pooling resources and taking control
To ensure it could flourish as data poured in, Drillinginfo transformed its storage infrastructure with IBM solutions, beginning with IBM SAN Volume Controller featuring IBM Spectrum Virtualize™ and IBM Storwize® V5000, followed by IBM Spectrum Scale™ solutions.
“SAN Volume Controller was an ideal solution for us because it allowed us to take control of data spread across heterogenous storage systems very easily,” recalls Davis. “In fact, IBM pooled all the data we needed with only 10 minutes downtime—the time it took to reboot the service—which meant minimal disruption to operations. To provide capacity, we added hybrid Storwize V5000 storage solutions that feature both solid-state and standard drives. And to help ensure that our data is always available fast whenever the business needs it, we use Spectrum Scale to provide automated, policy-driven storage management.”
Deploying IBM Spectrum Scale enables Drillinginfo to embrace a tiered storage environment. The solution seamlessly moves frequently accessed data to the highest-performance storage, and transfers archive data to more cost-effective platforms.
Davis explains: “Tiering our storage with help from IBM solutions gives us great performance where it matters, without breaking the budget. To this day I haven’t had one complaint about performance, but we have saved on multiple expensive storage products.”
The IBM Spectrum Storage solutions are also playing a part in Drillinginfo’s long-term cloud and open source technology strategies.
“A key deciding factor for Spectrum Scale was its vendor-agnostic quality,” elaborates Davis. “We can transfer data to practically any cloud storage provider we choose, which gives us a low-risk, low-effort path to cloud when we want it. The Spectrum Storage tools have also played a big role in our transition towards becoming a fully OpenStack company, since they help us move data seamlessly across different landscapes as we make the change.”
Serving up key insights
With its central, automated approach to storage management, Drillinginfo is extracting greater performance from a smaller storage footprint.
“Our IBM solutions helped reduce our number of storage racks from eight to one, saving floorspace, reducing our power requirements and driving down TCO,” Davis continues. “In addition, IBM Spectrum Virtualize allowed us to achieve a data compression rate of 75 percent for most of our data, enabling us to make greater use of our storage resources without any impact on performance. All these efficiencies combined are giving us more headroom to grow.”
With greater security and availability enabled by IBM Spectrum Storage technology, Drillinginfo has reduced the risk of data loss and downtime in the event of unplanned outages. The company can also offer the business easier access to data and improved scalability to support innovation.
Davis concludes: “Spectrum Storage solutions helped us take a sprawling storage environment and simplify it, so that we have the ideal combination of flexibility and ease of management. IBM Storage solutions have given us the performance, scalability and reliability we need to maintain high levels of service for our customers. Next on the agenda is creating a disaster recovery environment for our billion files—a mammoth task that we know IBM Spectrum Scale will help us achieve efficiently.”
Drillinginfo delivers business-critical insights to oil and gas industries through a state-of-the-art SaaS platform built on industry-leading data and energy analytics. Its solutions deliver value across the upstream and downstream supply chain. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and employs more than 400 people.