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Networking The Internet Science Linux

"Evolution of the Internet" Powers Massive LHC Grid 93

jbrodkin brings us a story about the development of the computer network supporting CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which will begin smashing particles into one another later this year. We've discussed some of the impressive capabilities of this network in the past. "Data will be gathered from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which hosts the collider in France and Switzerland, and distributed to thousands of scientists throughout the world. One writer described the grid as a 'parallel Internet.' Ruth Pordes, executive director of the Open Science Grid, which oversees the US infrastructure for the LHC network, describes it as an 'evolution of the Internet.' New fiber-optic cables with special protocols will be used to move data from CERN to 11 Tier-1 sites around the globe, which in turn use standard Internet technologies to transfer the data to more than 150 Tier-2 centers. Worldwide, the LHC computing grid will be comprised of about 20,000 servers, primarily running the Linux operating system. Scientists at Tier-2 sites can access these servers remotely when running complex experiments based on LHC data, Pordes says. If scientists need a million CPU hours to run an experiment overnight, the distributed nature of the grid allows them to access that computing power from any part of the worldwide network"
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"Evolution of the Internet" Powers Massive LHC Grid

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  • Bitch... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HetMes ( 1074585 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @01:32PM (#23173804)
    I suppose this will all be raw sensor data from the LHC itself, right? Must be a bitch to get anything meaningfull out of it.
  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @01:37PM (#23173842) Journal
    You'd think our /. Overlords would gin up a filter to block the posting of google & yahoo redirects.

    There's really no reason to use redirects or tinyurl on /.
  • by imsabbel ( 611519 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @02:06PM (#23174152)
    20k Servers. Not CPUs. And also not cores.
  • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @02:25PM (#23174376) Journal
    You know, we're going through all this, and we're still not anywhere near closer to coming up with a machine that does anti-gravity

    How do you know this? One possibility is that there are more that 3 space dimensions. If this is the case AND the LHC has enough energy to access them we could well end up being able to study quantum gravity at the LHC. This might not give is flying cars but in order to first utilize something it is neccessary to understand it.

    Basically, physics is a total failure, and that's why there's no flying cars or nuclear fusion...

    It depends on what you think the goals of physics are. As a physicist myself I would define them as "to understand how the Universe works". While we still have a long way to go physics has by no means been a failure in that regard. We understand far more about how the Universe works than we did 50 or 100 years ago. Whether or not we can produce flying cars or fusion reactors depends on HOW the Universe works. To say that physics is a failure because these things are extremely hard to produce would be like saying that Columbus' expedition was a total failure because he didn't get to India. You cannot complain physics is a failure just because the Universe does not work the way that YOU want it to - we study the laws of physics, we don't get to make them.....although it would be interesting if we could!
  • by xPsi ( 851544 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @03:38PM (#23175174)
    Practically speaking, trickle-down technology of the sort mentioned in the article is one of the main reasons basic research on this massive scale even has a chance of getting funded with taxpayer dollars. Looking for the Higgs, supersymmetry, and a color glass condensate is cool (important!) scientifically, but it is hard to justify spending 10 billion dollars without some pragmatic output. I'm a high energy physicist by training and would like to think these projects could get funded on their own scientific merit, but I suspect funding agencies would disagree; regardless, technology offshoots of this sort are definitely a good thing.

Happiness is twin floppies.