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CERN cranks up its LHC network

Mega huge data recording begins
Wed May 12 2010, 11:08

BOFFINS RUNNING the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the black hole maker CERN have cranked up the operation's high-speed network and downstream data storage and computational facilities to record and begin analysing the huge amounts of information that are being recorded by the world's fastest particle accelerator.

According to HPCWIRE, the LHC doomsday device's network has linked mass data storage sites, such as the Ohio Supercomputer Centre and more than 1,000 international physicists, engineers and technicians.

Apparently the LHC detectors spew out 1.25GB of data per second. That's about six times the contents of Encyclopedia Britannica including the index every second.

The massive data sets are now being collected and distributed to researchers around the world through the high-speed connections of the LHC Computing Grid, which is a network of computer clusters at scientific institutions. The network runs over a combination of private fiber-optic cable links and portions of the public Internet.

Overall the network can call upon 100,000 processors at 130 organizations across 34 countries. It is organized into four tiers. Tier 0 is CERN's central computer, which distributes data to the eleven Tier 1 sites around the world. The Tier 1 sites, in turn, coordinate and send data to Tier 2 sites, which are centers that provide storage capacity and computational analysis for specific tasks. Scientists access the stored data through Tier 3 sites from their own Tier 4 computers.

It is one of the first times that a distributed network has had so much clout. Boffins previously have had to do all their computing for any one research project at a single site. µ




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