The worlds particle physics community today announced the launch of the first phase of the LHC computing Grid (LCG). The LCG is designed to handle the unprecedented quantities of data that will be produced by experiments at CERN ’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) from 2007 onwards. "The LCG will provide a vital test-bed for the new Grid computing technologies that are set to revolutionise the way scientists use the worlds computing resources in areas ranging from fundamental research to medical diagnosis," said Les Robertson, CERNs LCG project manager.
The computational requirements of the experiments that will operate at the LHC are enormous. Some 12-14 petabytes of data will be generated each year, the equivalent of more than 20 million CDs. Analysing this data will require the equivalent of 70,000 of todays fastest PC computers. The LCG will meet these needs by deploying a worldwide computational Grid, integrating the resources of scientific computing centres spread across Europe, America and Asia into a global virtual computing service.
The first phase of the project, LCG-1, will operate a series of prototype services, gradually increasing in scale and complexity as its builders develop an understanding of the functional and operational complexities involved in building a Grid of such unprecedented scale. LCG-1 uses so-called "middleware" developed mainly by the European Data Grid project in Europe and the Globus, Condor and related projects contributing to the Virtual Data Toolkit in the US. It allows physicists to access worldwide distributed computing resources from their desktops as if they were local.
Christine Sutton | alfa
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