Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Large Hadron Collider grid stress-tested

From CNet News

The grid that will process data from the Large Hadron Collider has undergone stress testing, as CERN and other groups try to gauge its limits.

The tests, called Scale Testing for the Experiment Program '09, threw huge amounts of data around the distributed computing project, which uses dedicated optical-fiber networks to distribute data from CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) to 11 main computer centers in Europe, Asia, and North America.

From these centers, data is dispatched to over 140 centers in 33 countries around the globe, where the LHC data is managed and processed. The recent grid tests, which lasted for two weeks, were completed before the beginning of July.

LHC computing-grid project leader Ian Bird said Friday that CERN had tried to break the grid but had not succeeded.

"People were trying to break the system by seeing how much data we could push through it, but we didn't (break it)," Bird told ZDNet UK. "The test was successful."

Data from all the experiments running at CERN--including analyses from the Atlas particle accelerator, which is linked to the LHC--were processed through the grid, according to Bird. While the amount of data expected from the LHC will be in the area of 1.3GB per second, the grid systems were bombarded with 4GB per second. "The data volume got to a much larger scale than is needed," Bird said.

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