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Technical Computing System Evaluations

Brian R. Shaw

The acquisition of technical computing hardware and software is an extremely personal process. Although most commercial system configurations have one of several general organizations, individual requirements of the purchaser can have a large impact on successful implementation even though differences between products may seem small.

To assure adequate evaluation and appropriate system selection, it is absolutely essential to establish written goals, create a "real" benchmark data set and testing procedure, and finally test and evaluate the system using the purchaser's technical staff, not the vendor's.

BHP P(A) (formerly Monsanto Oil Company) was given the opportunity to acquire a technical computing system that would meet the needs of the geoscience community, provide future growth avenues, and maintain corporate hardware and software standards of stability and reliability. The system acquisition team consisted of a staff geologist, geophysicist, and manager of information systems. The eight-month evaluation allowed the development procedures to personalize and evaluate BHP needs as well as the vendor's products. The goal-driven benchmark process has become the standard procedure for system additions and expansions as well as product acceptance evaluations.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91038©1987 AAPG Annual Convention, Los Angeles, California, June 7-10, 1987.