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AVoIP Case Study: Offshore oil platforms collaborate over IP

Offshore oil platform operators may be separated from multiple mainland partners by hundreds of miles, so it is crucially important that platforms have a simple, reliable and secure digital infrastructure that enables clear and instant communications with their various collaborators.

In Norway, the technology integration firm Option has taken a new path forward for oil platform communications with their DESKVIEW remote workstation solution to deliver video communications while simplifying collaboration, improving network security, reducing heating concerns from PCs, and facilitating rapid maintenance of on-platform computer systems.

“Pulling cables on an oil rig is very expensive,” said Frank Waaland, Business Development at Option, “but with our DESKVIEW solution using Gefen AV over IP products, we don’t need to do nearly as much wiring. If 50 users need 50 gigabit ethernet connections, it’s much easier to do that all in one room and provide access to those PCs remotely, rather than cabling to 50 different locations on the platform.”

Through Option’s DESKVIEW with Gefen, users can view their desktop on any workstation and share it with remote collaborators, without requiring any access to firewalls or security. This guarantees each party retains their digital network’s integrity while providing a reliable collaborative environment to share information and make plans.

Remote workstations also increase the physical security of technology equipment by centrally locating all computers and IT infrastructure in one room, which has the added benefit of reducing the significant costs of cooling multiple rooms using diesel generators.

“With an RFID-based credential system, any station can provide access to an individual’s secure PC and data with a simple card swipe,” Waaland explained. “Along with QR code access, this greatly increases the speed at which workers can share and find information, because they don’t need to be at a specific location to do so. It also simplifies maintenance and troubleshooting, because we can have an extra computer ready to replace one if it fails, or a worker can transfer to a different PC using the same workstation.”

Option’s solutions for oil platforms also include meeting or collaboration rooms that employ up to six public wall-mounted displays of up to 65”, where employees or partners can share their desktops. Option even added a special feature in response to user requests – a small desktop LCD display at each workstation that provides connection status. All of this adds up to a fast, user-friendly digital infrastructure that greatly improves all aspects of internal and external communications.

“By using AV over IP in combination with another Option product DESKVIEW Remote, we can select a source and transmit this onshore with some latency. This will then reduce the bandwidth consumption, and free up the available bandwidth,” Waaland added.

According to Lundin Norway, one of Option’s clients, the DESKVIEW system has performed perfectly and fulfilled a variety of communication needs offshore.

“It has useful functions such as being able to select screens to show information and also to have multiple input sources from a central location being displayed on different and multiple locations onboard.”

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