CGG Awarded Dell Center for Research Excellence
Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell designated CGG (Compagnie Generale de Geophysique) as a Dell Center for Research Excellence, citing the company’s innovative use of technology in the field of seismic research for oil and gas exploration. CGG, a global oil services company, uses more than 3,000 Dell PowerEdge servers linked together to form powerful compute engines, called high-performance computing clusters (HPCC). The clusters efficiently analyze seismic data that can help to identify and model oil and gas reservoirs around the world.
“CGG is a pioneer in its field and has demonstrated that the strategic use of standardized supercomputing can deliver cost and performance benefits for commercial applications,” said Mr. Dell. “They have proven that standards-based systems are scalable, powerful and the best technology investment in the long-term to provide leading-edge service and maintain competitive advantage.”
CGG is the first corporate organization to receive this distinction from Dell and has the largest Dell-based HPCC deployment in its U.S. headquarters in Houston. The company deployed the Houston cluster in 2001 with 128 Dell PowerEdge servers and has since grown to more than 3,000 Dell systems. CGG engineers have led in the development of tools and processes that enable them to manage and add capacity to their clusters, which they have shared with Dell engineering.
“We are honored to be recognized as a Dell Center for Research Excellence,” said Robert Brunck, chairman and CEO of CGG. “The geophysical industry has consistently been at the forefront of efforts to push back the limits of computing capacity and it therefore gives me considerable personal pleasure to see our industry being recognized and to see CGG being rewarded as a computer pioneer in this way.”
“This distinction is a credit to our engineers and the deep partnership we have developed with Dell’s engineering team,” said Guillaume Cambois, CGG’s executive vice president for CGG Data Processing and Reservoir Services. “Several years ago CGG recognized that we needed to be able to use the latest technologies to maintain our competitive advantage and continue to improve our products — HPCC was the vehicle to accomplish this, using low-cost, high-performing standardized technology.”
CGG’s applications and tools help optimize and maintain the world’s energy resources. CGG began its work on Dell clusters three years ago with a 32-node cluster of Precision workstations that was used to port its UNIX applications to the Linux environment. The company now uses server clusters globally to process seismic data that helps identify new oil and gas reservoirs, as well as to model existing reservoirs in order to help optimize production.
CGG uses HPCC throughout its operations worldwide — deploying a more than 3,000-node Dell PowerEdge server configuration in Houston, a 512-node Dell cluster in Foxboro, England and a smaller Dell cluster in Canada. The clusters use multiple generations of Intel Pentium and Xeon processors, exemplifying the investment protection inherent to standards-based systems and technologies in scaled-out environments. Worldwide, CGG now has generalized use of HPCC and has a total compute capacity of over 30 Tera FLOPs (trillion floating point operations per second).