18 March 2012

CERN: Cloud Computing Joins Hunt for Origins of the Universe

Tech Republic (03/13/12) Nick Heath

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is examining whether it could double the computing power for its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) by using cloud computing resources.  The LHC generates 22 petabytes of data a year, and CERN already supplements its processing with a network of 150 computing centers.  CERN's Bob Jones says the additional computing power and storage space provided by the cloud could help researchers analyze LHC data more quickly.  CERN also is participating in the Helix Nebula initiative, a pilot project designed to jump-start the European cloud computing industry by carrying out scientific research in the cloud.  As part of that project, data from the LHC will be handled by different European Union-based cloud providers over the next two years.  Other research agencies testing cloud-based research as part of the Helix Nebula project are the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).  "If we can demonstrate that it is technically and financially feasible for world-leading research organizations like CERN, the ESA, and EMBL to make use of these resources then that will attract others," Jones says.


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