Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For RHIC and LHC, Data Is King!

While people are very caught up with the powering up of the LHC and anticipating first collision, many people forget that there's a another monumental task ahead for many people - the handling of an believable amount of data that will be coming out of the various detectors at the LHC. No amount of real-world application comes close to matching the data-handling task that has to be carried out once the LHC is in full operation.

This article looks at the daunting task of distributing just the anticipated data coming from the ATLAS detector at the LHC.

As the sole Tier 1 computing facility for ATLAS in the United States, Brookhaven provides a large portion of the overall computing resources for U.S. collaborators and serves as the central hub for storing, processing and distributing ATLAS experimental data among scientists across the country.

This mission is possible because of the ability to build upon and receive support from the Open Science Grid project, Ernst said. Yet, even after ramping up to 8 petabytes of accessible online storage – a capacity ten times greater than existed when ATLAS joined the RACF eight years ago – the computing center’s scientists still have plenty of testing and problem-solving to conduct before the LHC begins operations this fall.

It is not an understatement that many advances in computing that we see today were driven by the needs of scientific projects such as this. What is being done here will eventually trickle down to various parts of society in a few years.


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