Accountable performance improves productivity

How the CIO could commit to deliver performance instead of hardware and infrastructure capacity.
Published: 24 February 2021 Read Time : 2 minutes

Buying a specific performance, not a certain hardware-spec, is a smart way of controlling IT investments. Leave the super-powerful workstations to the very few that need it and provide the rest of the workforce with an adequate performance at their level. This reduces IT investments and gives you a fully scalable solution. Specifying hardware is not an easy task for the CIO in an E&P company. Geoscientist often opts for the most powerful workstations while others use the opportunity to force some extra power into their new machine, although not necessarily vital to the role.

Lack of performance is subject to dissatisfaction, and IT departments are often getting the blame. Usually, IT departments are missing tools to monitor and verify workstation performance.

To guaranty enough resources to run a particular process would enable IT departments to specify targeted processing power on an individual level and supply sufficient capacity. Add in an extra option to upscale processing power to cope with occasional heavy workloads, and the CIO could commit to deliver performance instead of hardware and infrastructure capacity.

Tiering capacity

Cegal delivers petrotechnical IT environments as a service. It enables the paradigm shift from hardware spec and network speed to performance. We organize the service in tiers, which we work out with the client, to specify a set of predefined capacity and performance levels matching the company's different roles.

Cegal Blueback System Center is a plug-in for Petrel that enable logging of all operations at the end-user to our database. We collect this information from all the users with the same role and normalize them to specify KPIs for this particular tier.

Controlling costs

Clients often opt for a pool of high-end devices in the cloud to deal with demands for extra computing power. When users have a task requiring extra computing power, they can log on to one of those workstations and start a process that typically can last several days. In the meantime, they log on to their regular machine and continue to work from there.

Costs considerations are connected to this assessment to ensure that not every user is set up with a high-performance and high-cost workstation.

Controlling performance

A vital aspect of the service is the ability to control and monitor that the correct performance is continuously available, and that any deviation of such is addressed. We test individual virtual machines' performance from the admin side of the Cloud portal regularly to verify that essential KPIs are met according to the specified tier.

These tests are typically run after an update of Windows. From time-to-time, Microsoft releases updates, including security patches that might influence performance. End users are then affected with reduced performance when choosing to keep their systems safe. Our technicians have the correct understanding of such impact and may suggest workarounds for those affected, such as increasing capacity or moving to another tier.

We sometimes discover that a particular driver update is unnecessary or degrades the performance, for instance, a graphics card driver. The virtual machines affected can then be reverted to a previous version verified to be working optimally.

Whenever a user logs out, the virtual machine gets deleted. A new fresh machine is then created and ready for the next user who accesses the system.

Work from anywhere

The most evident change on the individual level is that no one is tied to a physical workstation, a specific network, or a local server stack. Everyone has access to their virtual machine from a modestly fitted laptop or even a tablet, still delivering the specified tier’s performance.

The virtual machines share resources on the physical devices Cegal provides for the platform. Knowing that you will have the resources granted wherever you choose to work from increases efficiency substantially. Not to mention the opportunity to work on travels, even with tasks demanding high processor performance.

IT as a service

When a petrotechnical IT environment is delivered as a service with defined KPIs and Service Level Agreements, the buyer gets the power over their product and delivery towards end-users:

  • Accountability
    The buyer is given assurance according to KPIs and Service Level Agreements that the service will be achieved

  • Performance
    The client gets a well-proven solution with a predefined performance.

  • Productivity
    Users get a better workspace with global access to their data, making them able to work from anywhere and improve their productivity

Monthly reporting and user feedback will ensure that the buyer knows that he has a well-performing environment fulfilling the KPIs.

 

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Written by Arve Osmundsen

Arve Osmundsen holds a master’s degree in Cybernetics and has more than 25 years of experience within the IT industry working with enterprise solutions. Being one of the architects behind GeoCloud, Cegal’s E&P cloud solution for oil and gas, Arve now holds the role as Global Business Development Manager in Cegal with great expertise on how to provide our oil and gas customers with high performance and scalable IT solutions.

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