Cisco spins CERN partnership

Borg joins openlab project

Cisco is joining CERN’s openlab, in a partnership The Borg says will help secure the huge computing infrastructure the LHC-operator needs to run.

The vendor's participation will start with CERN and Cisco putting together a team to develop highly secure computing infrastructure technologies capable of dealing with massive amounts of data.

CERN's Large Hadron Collider can generate one petabyte per second of data (since such comparisons are required, Cisco's canned statement says that's equivalent to around 20,000 Blu-ray disks).

“The success of the LHC depends critically on advances in information processing technologies and components,” said Alberto Di Meglio, head of CERN openlab, in a statement.

“Advanced technologies are needed to operate scientific instruments, such as the accelerator and the detectors, safely and efficiently in an open environment. We need technologies that are at the forefront of today’s practices and in many cases several years ahead of general industry usage.”

The organisation said that over the next decade it expects the rate of data collection to grow significantly, requiring not just very large computing and storage facilities, but also new approaches in many IT-related domains.

The teams assigned to openlab is tasked with developing “ground breaking ideas and new approaches for next generation computing systems,” CERN said. “They will investigate novel concepts that build on the latest evolution of hardware, heterogeneous system designs, and increasing functionality of the network interface hardware.”

Security's on CERN's mind, since its systems are becoming more distributed to help it deal with the firehose of data the LHC generates. ®


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