"I need to use my high-end workstation to work on this subsurface interpretation project – and yes, I downloaded a local copy. It is now evening, but I have to be in the office to work on this because that is where the 3D project resides. I need to fly to another country to provide geologic input to an asset team. We are hiring 5 people in a few weeks, so we need to get started on procuring and setting up those hefty workstations."
These scenarios should sound familiar. Large 3D graphical files and applications have posed challenges to users for decades. Well today, things are changing.
It arrived in a small plain white box. It was similar to any other box of technical hardware but with one difference: the small card inside was bubble-wrapped in a promise of a new way of working for the oil and gas geoscience community and anyone who uses 3D graphical applications.
So what are we talking about here? NVIDIA has introduced a graphics card that, when combined with a specific set of infrastructure capabilities, has opened the door to new virtual desktop possibilities. NetApp, Cisco, NVIDIA, Citrix, have worked across the energy industry to validate the converged infrastructure that can bring this to life for workstation-weary users across the globe.
How can these new possibilities help energy colleagues who perform subsurface interpretation or use other 3D graphics-intensive applications? Will they find new efficiency in the way they manage, view and work with enormous 3D project files? Will they be able to travel less and spend more time on productive activities?
Likewise, will it be daunting to work away from the comfort of a local workstation, and will users experience the same type of "feel" with a virtual desktop? How strange will it be to work with data that is in another building or in another country?
I’m looking forward to watching the answers to these questions as this change builds momentum. And I’m looking forward to that day when 3D applications users in the energy, resources and construction industries say things like "I love that my project is accessible when I need it, from wherever I am. I love that I can carry my three-pound laptop around, hook it up to a big monitor and work anywhere. I will be retiring soon, and I look forward to providing some part-time contract assistance from my mountain home. And no, I will not be downloading a local copy of the large project files."