Chevron virtualizes data (December 2012)

Chevron deploys Composite Software’s ‘data virtualization’ to extract business intelligence from complex operations on giant oilfield. Real time, ERP data leveraged to automate work orders.

Like BP last year (Oil IT Journal November 2011), Chevron has joined the ranks of companies deploying Composite Software’s ‘data virtualization’ approach to data federation and business intelligence.

Chevron uses data virtualization to combine real time and historical data from around 10,000 producing oil wells on its Kern River operations. Composite data virtualization produces daily work orders that optimize deployment of repair crews and work over equipment.

Operations involve federating real-time data on crew, equipment and status data from the wells and from SAP’s maintenance management system. Blending historical surface, subsurface and business data from the enterprise data warehouse leads to faster repairs, better uptime and more production.

Critical legacy systems were successfully migrated to the new platform with minimum disruption by ‘virtually masking’ the migrated systems. The project was completed ahead of schedule and with ‘lower risk.’ What was forecast as a thirty month project was completed in 18 months, saving ‘significant’ project costs.

Chevron’s Anestacio Rios, project lead for business and engineering application support received the leadership award for innovative solutions at Composite Software’s data virtualization day in New York earlier this year. 

Composite’s Information Server is described as connecting to existing data ‘non-invasively,’ federating disparate sources and delivering information as data services. The server includes a graphical development environment for the design and development of database-centric objects such as relational views and XML web services.

In BP’s 2011 deployment, the performance hit of the virtualization layer was mediated by running the virtualization server on a hardware appliance from Netezza. Composite now claims that its ‘300 man years’ of query optimization research and optimized adapters provide significant performance optimization. A data source evaluation capability assures optimal federated query performance.

Composite’s approach of comprehensive enterprise-level data federation comes with a bewildering array of tools and technologies for configuring a virtualized infrastructure.

Data can be kept in original source data stores—or cached in a variety of databases and appliances including Netezza, Teradata (we have it on reasonably good authority that Chevron has one) and, most recently, SAP’s own HANA. More from Composite.

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