Sunday, July 22, 2012

Grid Computing gets "God Particle'"

The isolation of the particle, the Higgs boson, also known as "God Particle"  not only represents a great advancement in particle physics, but also reflects the impressive capabilities and unlimited possibilities of cloud computing. Why? Because the scientists that performed the research on the Higgs boson made heavy use of the same kind of information technologies as onthenetOffice and other commercial clouds.

CERN’s Grid has three distinct levels or Tiers. At Tier 0 inside the CERN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 50,000 computing cores receive and sift through the information that comes directly from the LHC detectors. Via 10 GB/s dedicated networks Tier 0 routes data to specific Tier 1 sites. There are 11 Tier 1 facilities: 6 in Western Europe, 3 in North America, 1 in Scandinavia, and 1 in Southeast Asia (Taiwan). Each Tier 1 center contains comprehensive and accessible electronic records of a distinct experiment associated with the LHC. Tier 1 sites also possess surplus computing power to assist with the most complex analyses. Finally, Tier 2 sites (140 locations in universities and research labs) provide end-user access to researchers around the world. Tier 2 centers mainly permit scientists to access the data and computing power of the Tier 1 centers. Tier 1 sites also retrieve the computations from the Tier 2 sites for permanent storage.

Despite its unorthodox structure, the Grid possesses several characteristics that allow it to be classified as a cloud, including:

More details here

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