Cisco partner Provista IP Communications* provided a solution to Canadian Natural Resources that delivered a flexible off-shore wireless network supplying data mobility whilst remaining secure and manageable.
When you search for case studies in Oil and Gas there are lots that cover the carpeted areas of organizations -- office areas mainly, but fewer that actually reach outside to places like manufacturing or refinery areas, or even oil rigs. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to read the case study from Provista. Provista are a Cisco partner based near Glasgow with a presence in North-East Scotland and the Midlands in England.
You’ll hopefully remember my blog: Ferguson Group Ltd keeps an Eye on Operations with Cisco Physical Security, in which I talked about the coming of a new ‘space-age’ equivalent for Scotland. In that blog we looked at physical security and video in particular. With this Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) case study we can see how the Cisco technologies go further out to inhospitable environments and help keep workers away from danger, and more productive if they have to be off-shore.
1. “The cost of resourcing engineering consultancy and deployment time was significantly higher due to travel restrictions.”
2. “It would be difficult to ensure that installed wireless networks would remain active in the event of a single device failure.”
3. “Canadian Natural regularly had guest visitors to their off-shore oil platforms and thus requested a secure, but separate, connection for guests to make use of.”
Provist goes on to say that there were some major business benefits are being achieved:
Cost/Safety: “Provista’s solution ensured that there was no need for highly-trained technical staff to be present at the remote sites.”
Lower Downtime: “Canadian Natural technical staff have a longer window of time to deploy replacement equipment in the event of a failure.”
Worker/Guest Productivity: “Employees and guests can be more productive off-shore as a result of the wireless network access.”
The case study goes on to talk about the implementation and Cisco elements for management and control. This is an example of how Oil and Gas customers will often start building networking infrastructure in the carpeted areas (like CNR did) and then extend out to non-carpeted areas such as oil platforms. The number of oil rigs that have a pervasive WLAN is actually relatively low. Sure, there are numerous proprietary networks for sensors and the like, but we’re now seeing the implementation of WIFI on rigs that are providing converged (i.e. compatibility and convergence with IT and OT -- or Operational Technologies systems and networks), as the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Everything continues its journey of becoming more pervasive. This is a convergence based on Industry standards.
The coming week sees the SEG International Exposition and 84th Annual Meeting take place in Denver, Colorado. SEG is the Society of Exploration Geophysicists -- those scientists that are at the sharp end of finding oil and gas around the world. Despite the current boom in non-conventional drilling methods (fracking and horizontal drilling), these natural resources are becoming harder to find. That’s where the partnership between NetApp, Cisco, Citrix and NVIDIA comes in.
Visit us along with our partners NetApp, NVIDIA and Citrix at the NetApp Booth 709. You’ll see how we can help oil and gas enterprises enhance collaboration and enable faster decision making without exposing sensitive data. Other NetApp and Cisco partners will join us for in-booth demos and events to highlight solutions that help you:
Scale your exploration environment rapidly without impacting performance
Enable your remote teams wherever they happen to be
Deliver secure 3D access to data and applications
The four partners have come together to provide an integrated solution that utilizes the power of Flexpod from Cisco and NetApp to virtualize the computing, networking and storage infrastructure, combined with graphics processing unit (GPU) capabilities from NVIDIA and desktop virtualization from Citrix. This enables the delivery of large-scale data sets for interactive and collaborative analysis in real-time, regardless of geographic site or worker location. Workers get a similar working environment as if they were local to the datacenter infrastructure, or using a powerful and costly local workstation.
Contact Wally Beck to schedule a one-on-one or in-booth/demo meeting with a NetApp oil and gas technical expert. Make a note to him if you would also like to see a Cisco person at the booth if available.
Serhii Konovalov, Global lead for O&G Industry, and Jason Celaya, Energy Industry IoE PSS, have been working closely with Oil & Gas and Petrochemical customers and the Yokogawa team over the three days of the event.
Greg Carter, Director/GM, Internet of Everything (IoE) Services Group at Cisco hosted the breakout session: “Internet of Everything (IoE) Enabling IA Solutions and Innovation”. In that session he comprehensively explained, “What is Internet of Everything (IoE)” and presented how IoE enables value-added IA solutions and provides innovations for life cycle management with focus on IA customers.
I had the opportunity to talk with Serhii and here are his comments to some aspects of the event:
What is the biggest topic among customers during the event? “Two major topics were clearly in the lead: Industrial Control Systems Cyber Security and accelerated growth of Industrial Wireless in O&G”
What kind of solutions is Cisco and Yokogawa working together? “ Cisco and Yokogawa are working on the number of initiatives to address emerging trends and joint customer requirements. One major initiative that we launched and showcased at the event is Secure Ops, that directly targets Cyber Security challenges with innovative and systematic approach”
What is your general opinion of Cisco participation? “The participation at the event demonstrated growing strength of partnership between Cisco and Yokogawa. It was great to hear feedback and strong support from the customers at the event about Cisco’s continued focus on O&G industry and Internet of Things, as well as great time to discuss current projects and priorities”
Watch out for other events that Cisco will be making a big impact at in the future!
Cisco and Akili feature their joint Oil & Gas Technology Solutions with SAP HANA running on Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) at the Best Practices for Oil and Gas conference Sept. 16-19 in Houston, TX.
The Best Practices for Oil & Gas Conference is North America’s leading forum for upstream, midstream, downstream and oil field services professionals to collaborate across the value chain. You know Cisco’s top aim these days is Business Outcomes for our customers. The fourth annual event has a significant shift to a business focus and features first-hand knowledge on how business solutions that have been successfully implemented at oil and gas organizations across all industry segments.
The event will feature special guest speaker T. Boone Pickens, an oil and gas and American business legend, sharing his views on enhancing U.S. energy policies. It will also feature Cisco as one of the exhibitors and, working with Gold Sponsor and Cisco partner Akili, we’ll be talking about business solutions and how customers can gain competitive advantage while improving bottom line profitability and reducing costs.
Akili and Cisco’s exhibit will highlight their shared offerings of industry Best in Class Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas including:
SAP ERP Solution for Upstream Oil and Gas
SAP BPC Solution for Integrated Financial and Operational Planning
Real-time business intelligence and predictive analysis across finance and operations
HANA Solutions built on flexible, converged infrastructure for rapid deployment, scalability and cost containment
Cisco UCS - the high performance, scalable, cost-effective, SAP certified platform for exceptional in-memory compute
Cyber security risk management and compliance for industrial control environments -- especially in the Oil and Gas Industry, and the ability to connect experts for mission critical communications and collaboration are key areas that Cisco is addressing with two new services-lead solutions.
We’re living in changing times. Cyber attacks are on the increase and critical infrastructures are under threat. Just finding oil and extracting it economically is becoming increasingly difficult. These two factors are top-of-mind for the oil and gas executives I talk to. Whether it’s an Integrated Oil Company (IOC) like Royal Dutch Shell, or an Oil Services company like Halliburton, many companies are under pressure to secure their infrastructure to protect against cyber, geo-political or operational threats and reduce risks associated operational challenges.
You’ll remember from my recent post: High Energy at Cisco Live in San Francisco, where Alan Matula, EVP and CIO of Shell talked to John Chambers at Cisco Live about how Shell and Cisco were partnering to secure critical infrastructure. Alan talked about how the changes in the oil and Gas industry -- in particular the new non-traditional methods (hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” and horizontal drilling) mean that hundreds, even thousands, of drill sites may be needed, rather than the more modest half dozen or so that were required in the past.
As the processes required become more complex, and the Internet of Everything enables improves workflows that were not possible in the past, organizations need more visibility into their business and need to have tools that will positively impact the bottom line by protecting against risks, improving efficiency and lowering site downtime.
That’s were the Cisco Secure Ops and Cisco Collaborative Operations solutions come in.
It actually provides “Critical infrastructure security as-a-service” and uses a convenient service wrapper and attaches a set of service level agreements. What it does is support cyber security risk management and compliance for industrial control environments. It addresses risks using a combination of people, process and technology before, during and after a risk or security event takes place. It’s made up of tightly integrated Cisco and third party products and services.
It is designed to be “dropped in” to brownfield or greenfield environments and delivers unparalleled capabilities and security control mechanisms.
The integration extends into commercial arrangements with automation suppliers for services like qualified patch lists and anti-virus updates.
The business benefits are:
Business leaders gainsituational awareness for security maturity and compliance within various parts of the business.
Site leadership and management benefit from reduced management complexity and increased consistency across individual sites, leading to optimized operational costs.
Site technical leaders are provided with a technical solution to help manage security and compliance on a per-site basis as well as valuable tools to increase it through standardized interfaces and capabilities
Corporate risk and compliance leaders receive near real time information on operational risks associated with cyber-security threats and adherence to compliance policies.
It’s actually a collaborative portal that combines voice, video and data collaboration in a single, secure view. It’s an ‘always-on’ style of collaboration that can bring in multiple technologies like Cisco Video Surveillance Manager; Cisco IPICS; landline; mobile; two-way radios and remote speaker integration; chat functionality; WebEx and multiple application sharing. All on a single pane of glass (well, in an ops room that could be a huge wall screen!).
What it’s designed for is operations personnel working in distributed networks and lets remote experts help guide operations in real-time, afford greater reach per expert resource and minimize miscommunication driving faster, better decision making. It can combine multiple feeds, and individuals and feeds can ‘come and go’ as required during a collaboration period. In the case of an Oil Services Company, that could be weeks or months!
The business benefits for this solution are:
Platform enables communication between stakeholders at all times.
Remote Experts can be instantly connected with on-site personnel using voice, video or data.
Solution creates opportunities for workforce development and training, safety improvements, and risk mitigation
Whilst related solutions, many customers may start implementing one before the other depending on their particular circumstances. Remember this is largely a services offering, so customers have the comfort of knowing that Cisco, along with our partners, are ‘bringing this together’ for them to address key business issues.