FileCatalyst & Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS)


Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) is a marine-focused geophysical organization that helps oil companies find offshore oil and gas reserves across the globe. Founded in 1991, PGS now has a presence in 17 countries, operates a fleet of advanced vessels worldwide, and ranks among the world’s top three marine seismic companies. PGS’ drive for innovation is exemplified through its broad range of services and unique technologies, including multisensor seismic data acquisition, advanced imaging, reservoir analysis and interpretation, and the quality of its multiclient data library.


Routinely collecting data from remote offshore locations, PGS often had to migrate large data sets to its offices in London, England, Houston, USA, or Cyberjaya, Malaysia for further processing, analysis, and quality checking. PGS used the FTP protocol and a free UDP transfer application to deliver these large files, but these methods created issues when sending and receiving large files. The main challenge PGS faced was slow transfer speeds on their underutilized 10 Gbps link between London and Houston.

Furthermore, both the FTP system and the UDP application lacked the management capabilities PGS required, leaving all control of the transfer with end users. With no coordination, this lack of management frequently caused problems on the lower bandwidth, last mile links. “We might have 100 FTP transfers executing simultaneously, causing all transfers to go at a crawl,” said James Watson, Lead Engineer at PGS. Having no control over the file transfer processes, our IT team constantly had to address the same file transfer related issues.


As a solution to these file transfer issues, PGS selected and deployed the FileCatalyst Direct accelerated and managed file transfer solution with a 10 Gbps license. FileCatalyst’s unique file transfer acceleration technology provided faster file transfer speeds for all data traveling across the international 10 Gbps link. The solution also optimized transfers moving across networks with unreliable conditions in remote areas where PGS collected data. In addition to the increased speed and reliability, FileCatalyst Direct provided the tracking and administrative capabilities PGS lacked when using previous solutions.


After deploying FileCatalyst Direct, PGS gained faster transfer speeds immediately. “The first benefit we noticed after implementing FileCatalyst was the enhanced control over our transfers and a dramatic speed improvement – we are finally able to use our 10 Gbps line speed to its full extent,” noted James Watson. Service for end users has also improved thanks to FileCatalyst Direct’s tight integration with all of our existing PGS processing systems. “FileCatalyst Direct transformed all of our file transfers into a simple and straightforward experience that logs every executed file transfer,” added Mr. Watson. “Soon our IT department was able to stop putting out file transfer related fires and provide a well-managed service to users.”

Another benefit PGS realized was the flexibility provided by the variety of applications available for executing file transfers. “Having the choice between FileCatalyst HotFolder, FileCatalyst Express, the CLI or API made fast file transfers possible and optimized for any scenario,” continued Mr. Watson. “Furthermore, FileCatalyst worked closely with PGS every step of the way to ensure our expectations were met 100% of the time when deploying FileCatalyst in our environment.”