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North West Integrates Photogrammetric and Image Processing Analysis Using Isilon IQ

The North West Group has integrated photogrammetric and image processing analysis by utilizing the Isilon IQ X-Series.

Isilon IQ Series

These two features have been combined into one, highly scalable, high-performance shared storage pool, thereby doubling the workflow productivity, and at the same time decreasing storage management than the single full time equivalent (FTE) system. North West will now be able to support effectively its aerial mapping mission applications by using the Isilon IQ. These aerial mapping missions are able to generate data in excess of one terabyte (TB) a day, resulting in the completion of more projects in reduced time and higher precision for driving growth of new business.

John Welter, North West Group’s vice president of technology, explained that with increase in customer demand for the company’s services, the demand to deliver ultimate high-resolution products in reduced time is also rising simultaneously. Welter revealed that such a scenario is good for business but cannot be handled by its earlier clustered NAS. Welter added that North West has used the Isilon IQ to deliver the final product at double the previous rate, and at the same time cut down on storage management, helping his company to emerge ahead of the market demand.

North West focuses on digital aerial photography, digital remote sensing, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and associated services in the international and the North American markets. The previous clustered NAS system of North West hit a performance road block of 350-400 Mbps due to increased size, scope, and the complexity of client projects, resulting in burdening of IT staff due to continuous and unnecessary data management challenges, and limited workflow productivity.  North West required an enhanced high performance storage solution to cater for data received from six aircrafts on round-the-world aerial mapping missions every day. The storage solution was required to speed up its photogrammetric and image processing operations without the requirement for additional operating or capital expenses.

North West installed one Isilon IQ Accelerator performance extension node, 15 Isilon IQ 12000EX capacity extension nodes, and 15 Isilon IQ 12000X nodes in collaboration with integrator PowerByte and value-added seller Isilon. This move helped North West to integrate its complete workflow in one storage resource that had capacity in an excess of 350 TB, along with an aggregate throughput of 1.2 Gbps. North West used Isilon’s scale-out NAS to complete more projects at reduced cost and time, resulting in enhanced operating leverage in the organization and helping the company to cater for hitherto attainable new business levels.

Sam Grocott, Isilon Systems’ vice president of marketing, acknowledged that NAS and SAN systems from other vendors could not handle the data and time sensitive nature of advanced geospatial and aerial imaging systems. Grocott explained that North West, a pioneer in the geospatial services domain, utilized the scaled-out NAS of Isilon to double productivity and is establishing a best practice for both its own industry and to business organizations focused on maximizing the performance related to large file-enabled applications.

Arnold Woelfe, PowerByte Solutions’ President, explained that his company focuses on offering the best-in-class IT solutions for empowering its clients to achieve more with less and increase their bottom line. Woelfe revealed that Isilon has complemented his company’s mission, since its scale-out NAS systems helped customers speed up their mission-critical applications, and at the same time lowering operating and capital expenses. Woelfe added that the success achieved by North West is an excellent example of such types of results.


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