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Wednesday, March 15 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Facilities, Infrastructure & Networking: ExSeisPIOL: Extreme-Scale Parallel I/O for Seismic Workflows

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Seismic data-sets generated during Oil & Gas exploration are extremely large and are broken
into data files which can be 100s of GiBs to 10s of TiBs and larger. From a software
development perspective, parallel I/O with seismic files is complex and challenging and thus
involves a significant percentage of developer productivity. The fundamental factor for
complexity is the nature of the I/O-access patterns which tend to be varied and involve large
amounts of data, resulting in the sub-optimal exploitation of current and emerging large-scale
HPC platforms.

The primary file formats in use within petroleum seismology have also accumulated 40 years
of legacy. For example, the de-facto standard, SEG-Y, requires fixed byte positions for the
storage of pre-defined trace parameters, uses the lower-precision IBM floating point format
for trace data and also uses EBCDIC for text. SEG-Y also interleaves both data and metadata
in the same file due to its origins in tape storage. The format does not support many common
use cases that geophysicists require since the nature of seismic workflows makes this
difficult in a static file format. Processing the peculiarities of the SEG-Y format can further
increase the complexity of the code base as a result.

In this presentation, we provide an overview of a new high-performance parallel I/O library,
ExSeisPIOL, dedicated to seismic processing workflows for petroleum seismology. Developed
to target SEG-Y, ExSeisPIOL is optimised for the structure of seismic files to deliver significant
improvements in both productivity and performance on large-scale HPC systems. Using
modern OO design, the library is developed on top of an interface abstraction which targets
MPI-I/O and other I/O interfaces. The library also targets the latest in burst buffer technology
with appropriate access semantics or through the direct exploitation of the low-level
interfaces, to deliver a significant improvement to I/O performance over standalone parallel
filesystems such as Lustre and GPFS.

We will describe the ExSeisPIOL in more detail by providing an overview of the multi-layered
structure as well as the two primary APIs which provide a high-level and low-level abstraction.
We will discuss real-world Oil & Gas use cases on large-scale HPC systems using burst-buffer
technology as well as a port to an existing seismic migration code (>15% code reduction).

avatar for Keith Gray

Keith Gray

Manager, High Performance Computing, BP
Keith Gray is Manager of High Performance Computing for BP. The HPC Team supports the computing requirements for BP’s Advanced Seismic Imaging Research efforts. This team supports one of the largest Linux Clusters dedicated to research in Oil and Gas. Mr. Gray graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in geophysics, and has worked for BP and Amoco since 1985. He was listed in HPCWire’s People to Watch 2006.


Wednesday March 15, 2017 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Room 103 BRC

Attendees (9)