Embracing hybrid cloud services in the oil and gas industry

Hybrid cloud solutions mix operational control done by specialists while integrating software with a cloud system for all other functions, which is useful for a data-heavy industry such as oil & gas.

By Dante Orsini, iland November 11, 2017

As more information technology (IT) businesses adopt cloud computing to achieve their growth goals, the technology has joined the mainstream due to its ability to guard against cyber threats, human error, and natural disasters while maintaining industry compliance and lowering costs.

Unfortunately, industries that stand to gain the most from cloud technologies often suffer from slower adoption rates due to concerns over data security. The good news is that in traditionally conservative sectors such as oil and gas, companies are realizing the agility, cost savings and security benefits of hybrid cloud services.

A recent forecast from the U.K.-based Oil and Gas Council encourages the shift. It states the industry can leverage cloud computing to provide powerful processing capabilities while facilitating links between multiple offices across the world.

Oil and gas companies require powerful processing for large data files and high utilization rates of expensive human resources. For these organizations, the logical solution is to maintain powerful workstations under the operational control of specialists who need them while integrating software with a cloud system for all other functions. This results in a true hybrid solution with two systems that appear to operate as one.

The cost-of-entry to the cloud is low and is typically based on a pay-as-you-go arrangement with charges directly related to specific compute and storage requirements. Oil and gas companies, especially smaller independents and service companies, can benefit from access to sophisticated, scalable, and secure IT infrastructures for very little outlay. They also benefit from transparent operational monthly costs and less overall impact on the balance sheet.

Navigator Gas, which specializes in the gas transportation sector, is one example. Navigator Gas, the owner of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, embraced hybrid cloud services and have experienced significant growth in recent years. Their compute and storage requirements had exceeded available on-premises capacity.

Navigator Gas needed a secure cloud-based solution to leverage the on-demand scalability of the cloud to achieve IT resiliency. The company leverages secure cloud hosting such as information-as-a-service (IaaS) with cloud-to-cloud disaster recovery and disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) for on-premises servers.

Any organization that migrates services to the cloud benefits from the availability of professional host cloud systems with dedicated and centralized support. Hardware upgrades, software upgrades, increased compute and capacity requirements, and technical support can enable companies to quickly respond to operational developments. Third-party requests free organizations from being at the mercy of on-the-ground IT consultants and their busy schedules.

Tangible business benefits that can be realized from moving to a secure cloud platform include: 

  1. The avoidance of additional capital expenditure (CAPEX) investment while retaining use of existing on-premises servers
  2. A flexible, scalable and secure cloud environment that is no longer dependent on a fixed server environment.
  3. All workloads—cloud and on premises—are now protected by a hybrid cloud DRaaS solution, previously it had no disaster recovery (DR) strategy in place.
  4. Vulnerability scanning that meets application security requirements.

Companies considering a hybrid cloud solution will discover the security, cost and scalability capabilities to meet IT needs today and in the future.

Dante Orsini, iland SVP business development. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

Original content can be found at Oil and Gas Engineering.