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Offshore Network Application Performance Assessment

Project Name

Offshore Network Application Performance Assessment

Client

ConocoPhillips UK Limited

Date

November 2013 – February 2014

Client Requirement

ConocoPhillips were experiencing application performance issues relating to their offshore facilities located in the Northern and Southern North Sea. These facilities are connected back onshore using a combination of Fibre, Line of Sight Radio and Satellite. Although WAN Optimisation had been deployed to minimise latency issues associated with Satellite, users were still experiencing unacceptable performance issues while accessing critical business applications. ConocoPhillips were seeking assistance to help them identify if the problems were related to network or application setup or if the problems were inherent to the underlying architecture of the telecoms and applications, and thus harder to resolve.

ConocoPhillips were also under pressure to find a resolution to the problems as they had a number of new facilities (Rigs/Flotels) being commissioned in the North Sea during 2014 and wanted assurances that the planned telecoms being deployed to these new facilities did not replicate the same issues.

The requirement was to carry out a detailed network analysis for two nominated offshore facilities. The analysis would cover all aspects of communications, servers, desktops and applications from which a findings and recommendations report would be developed. The report would include details on how improvements could be made to the setup, with architectural design recommendations for future deployments.

Our Approach

FarrPoint consultants worked in partnership with ConocoPhillips to review the telecoms infrastructure, the applications and the issues being experienced. This allowed the most appropriate monitoring solution to be deployed; in this case Riverbed’s Application Response Expert (ARX) and Application Transaction Expert (ATX). FarrPoint, working with the Riverbed Consultants, managed the installation of the tools and provided on-going support during the six-week monitoring period.

At the end of the monitoring period FarrPoint and Riverbed Consultants reviewed and analysed the performance data to develop the findings and recommendations report, which was presented back to ConocoPhillips during a workshop. This report reviewed the findings against industry best practice, highlighted critical issues and high priority areas that required further investigation. The report also made a number of recommendations on where improvements could be made including a number of architectural design considerations.

Outcome

The project was successfully delivered within the clients timelines and helped identify a number of underlying issues that ConocoPhillips investigated further. This included review of the WAN Optimisation solution that had not been optimally configured, issues relating to the Proxy Server for web requests and small TCP/IP Window sizes in use by certain applications. A number of architectural design recommendations were also made in the way applications were accessed and how data shares could be made more efficient in the offshore environment.