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Nutanix Goes Offshore To Deliver A Total Solution

Nutanix, a leader in private cloud, hybrid, and multicloud computing, has announced the completion of a project for Total Exploration & Production UK Limited (TEPUK) to deploy market-leading Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure both in Aberdeen and to its North Sea oil and gas installations.

Offshore oil and gas platforms are a challenging environment in which to install, manage and support IT of any description. Due, not least, to logistical challenges and strict safety requirements, but also because physical space, Internet connectivity and manpower are at a premium.

TEPUK chose to replace end-of-life legacy servers and storage networks on its rigs with Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure.

Requiring less than half the equivalent rack space of alternative solutions, the Nutanix infrastructure isn’t just space efficient. Other benefits include on-demand scalability, self-healing high availability, integrated Prism Central remote management and hypervisor neutral virtualisation capabilities.

Aberdeen-based Nutanix partner NorthPort Technologies was also involved. With its extensive experience in this field, it is able to provide engineers fully trained and certified to meet the critical safety requirements of the offshore industry.

“Our engineers don’t just have to be trained in IT, they need to be physically fit and pretty committed to do this kind of job,” explains Russell Robertson, Consulting IT Specialist at NorthPort Technologies. “Not least because they have to travel to and from the rigs in all weathers and be prepared to undergo the same rigorous training as anyone working offshore.”

The principal role of the offshore equipment is to host local infrastructure services, such as Windows domain controllers, file and print sharing and all the usual business productivity apps. These are supported using VMs alongside other specialist industrial control and safety workloads.

Despite the many challenges plus additional issues associated with the Covid-19 lockdown, the NorthPort team has now completed installation of the last set of 3-node offshore clusters, bringing the total installs to nine. In addition, the Aberdeen reseller has configured a coordinating 15-node Nutanix cluster on-shore with another at a separate TEPUK site for replication and disaster recovery (DR).

“With this announcement we are delighted to welcome TEPUK to a growing list of oil and gas companies using Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure to deliver industrial strength IT services in some of the most challenging environments around the globe,” commented Dom Poloniecki, Vice President & General Manager, Sales, Western Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa region, Nutanix. “More than that, it reflects the versatility of the Nutanix platform which is equally at home providing core IT services on an offshore oil rig as it is supporting leading edge hybrid cloud in a corporate datacentre.”