PXGEO/OSNexus Case Study
PXGEO, a marine geophysical services provider, deployed Seagate Exos® data storage systems with OSNexus QuantaStor to create a unified storage solution that reduces costs and hardware requirements while enabling greater productivity for storage managers.
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PXGEO, a provider of marine geophysical services, needed to expand its ship-based data storage capacity while simultaneously streamlining storage provisioning and administration. By deploying Seagate® Exos® data storage systems, integrated with OSNexus QuantaStor unified software-defined storage platform, PXGEO now has the benefit of a unified storage solution that reduces costs and hardware requirements while enabling its storage management team to be more productive in serving internal departmental clients.
PXGEO is a marine geophysical service provider. Using specially equipped ships, the company gathers seismic data from the sea floor on behalf of customers in the oil and gas industry. PXGEO is renowned for collecting superior quality data in challenging environments. Working across applications, their advanced subsurface imaging solutions provide valuable insight for offshore carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) strategies.
Marine geophysical services generate enormous amounts of data. For PXGEO’s IT department, this translated into a need for petabyte scale storage — with a great deal of headroom to grow — that was economical to procure and easy to manage. The department served four internal business units. Dan Kulykov, IT infrastructure and support manager at PXGEO, explained, “I needed quick, inexpensive storage with a lot of capacity, but less hardware, which we could efficiently manage through a unified interface.” In technical terms, they needed a storage solution that would support the company’s VMware-based virtualized architecture and deliver file, block, and object storage capabilities all at once.
PXGEO’s IT staff struggled with supporting multiple departments, which are offshore and utilize multiple compute solutions, each with its own attached storage.
“I've been playing with the idea of actually combining it all under one platform for a very long time,” said Kulykov, adding that he has a small team that “has to do a massive amount of support.” For each ship, this meant managing three racks of storage hardware comprising three different sets of storage technology. As he put it, “That's a lot of configuration that needed to be done.”
PXGEO chose a solution that combines Seagate data storage infrastructure with QuantaStor 6 software from OSNexus, a Seagate industry partner that develops grid-scale unified software-defined storage solutions. The company selected two Seagate Exos™ AP 2U12 storage servers (configured with nine SSD drives), as well as two Exos E 5U84 expansion JBOD systems. PXGEO also utilizes Seagate’s Lyve Cloud™ S3-compatible object storage and Lyve Mobile data transfer as a service.
OSNexus (www.osnexus.com) helps organizations manage and scale their storage environments with greater efficiency, flexibility, and performance. The company “focuses on continuous innovation with a strong focus on product quality and industry leading support to ensure customer and partner success with every deployment”.
Seagate’s Exos AP 2U12 units, combined with OSNexus QuantaStor unified software-defined storage platform, enable a high-performance all-flash array that is perfect for database and virtual machine storage workloads. The combined solution allows PXGEO to seamlessly back up and archive data from their seagoing vessels to Lyve Cloud. Unified management of both on-premises Seagate storage systems and Lyve Cloud-hosted storage is available through OSNexus QuantaStor Storage Grid console.
“QuantaStor allows PXGEO to do file, block, and object storage in one platform," Steven Umbehocker, CEO of OSNexus, explained. “The grid technology makes it so that all of the systems they deploy on the Seagate Exos APs across their data centers get combined into a storage grid, so they're going to be able to take the whole system and secure it and automate it and manage it with a greater level of ease than they've ever had before.”
Dan Kulykov found OSNexus to be simple to set up and use in their initial 1.7 petabyte deployment.
“We’re running four departments on the instance,” he shared. “This includes our instrumentation department and quality control, which is a demanding group. Everything is hosted on that one solution.”
PXGEO previously implemented Seagate’s Lyve™ Mobile for enhanced data transfer logistics, utilizing the high performant mobile storage on vessel, as well as transfer services to move data from on vessel to onshore processing to final delivery to their customer. For Kulykov, the addition of Exos data storage solutions felt like a natural next step. He praised the Seagate organization for effective engagement with his team.
“It was such a pleasure to work with the Seagate people,” he said. “The communication was really easy. They’re very responsive, which is not the experience you get with some other large tech companies.”
The economics of the setup also made sense for PXGEO.
As Kulykov remarked, “There's no add-on costs like you would have with some vendors, where they nickel and dime you for every little add-on feature. This is all-in-one. Pricing is capacity based, so you don't pay an extra premium for the flash storage on the software side. This was a compelling point for us. Now, we don't have to go and buy multiple products. As a result, we get a better price per TB, but we still get enterprise-grade hardware and software.”
The decision to deploy Seagate data storage systems with QuantaStor 6 has delivered a range of benefits to PXGEO.
“We are now down to half a rack, from three,” Kulykov explained. “The way we treat our hardware has completely changed because of the solutions. With QuantaStor, 90 percent of our storage management problems have disappeared because it's a unified solution. Support becomes a lot easier because it's centralized.”
Furthermore, Kulykov’s team can now pre-stage and deploy storage onto the company’s ships in about a third of the time it used to take.
“So, kudos to OSNexus. There are not that many solutions on the market that could do that.”
It was such a pleasure to work with the Seagate people. The communication was really easy.
With (OSNexus) QuantaStor, 90 percent of our storage management problems have disappeared because it's a unified solution. Support becomes a lot easier because it's centralized.
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