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Putting software on the cloud, by Interica

Monday, February 9, 2015

Subsurface data management company Interica is gradually moving its oil and gas project data management services onto the cloud

Subsurface data management company Interica is on a pathway to put all of its project data management services onto the cloud.

Chin-Fah Heoh, business development director with Interica, sees cloud as inevitable. The trends of data explosion, together with skill shortages, are very clear to see,' he said, speaking at the Digital Energy Journal conference in Kuala Lumpur on October 13, 'Doing more with Subsurface Data'.

'You cannot continue to build your own data centre, it's going to be too expensive.'

'More and more companies are taking the intrepid move into the cloud,' he said.

The pathway is not easy. 'A lot of people still fear the cloud, especially in oil and gas, with concerns about data security, sovereignty, and what happens to the data,' Mr Heoh said.

Interica developed its software to run in the traditional way, on companies' premises. The software has a traditional 3 tier architecture, with databases, application servers and clients.

One of its most important products is the 'Project Archival and Retrieval System' or PARS, which involves saving both the data about a subsurface project, and the descriptions about the data, often known as metadata. An EP data interpreter or analyst can restore a project and start working on that project in the future, with the deep understanding and wisdom applied on the project data by the previous interpreter.

There are many advantages to cloud computing.

The standard definition of Cloud Computing states that cloud computing should have on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service.

These characteristics of the cloud enables organizations to use computing resources as a service, improving business and operational agility, whilst reducing waste in computing resources, he said.

To Interica, cloud computing offers a huge opportunity to improve software development and delivery methods. Regular, rapid improvements to the software becomes possible, rather than costly on-site upgrades only occurring every few years. Further, if an upgrade causes a problem, winding back to the previous version becomes simple too.

You get a greater 'visibility of performance,' or ability to see how well you are doing, he said. You can collect better logs of what happened and so can improve the software with a much shorter cycle.

'Over time you'll see that the traditional 3 tier architecture becomes more complex, but the cloud itself will be able to address some of the inefficiencies.'

You can run your own cloud system, use a public one (like Amazon or Microsoft), use a 'community' cloud (like Common Data Access or DISKOS), or a hybrid one.

When moving software onto the cloud, you will probably have to redesign the software in some way. If you just migrate it onto the cloud, you might, for example, find that there are problems with firewalls, or extra latency between different systems.

Interica has identified three steps in the movement of its software onto the cloud: first, to offer a basic data archiving service; second to offer the full power of its 'Project Archival and Retrieval System' service on the cloud, and finally to offer an integrated project archiving service on the cloud by adding a cloud-based 'Intelligent Data Store' (IDS) to the package.

'In phase 2 - we're transforming / architecting our software to be cloud friendly,' he said.

This includes encrypting archives and ensuring all communications with the cloud uses the SSL security system, to assure customers that the data is secure.

'There's a high learning curve with re-architecting our software,' he said, but eventually, we simplify PARS, IDS in the cloud and project-archiving as a service for our customers.



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» Interica
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