Case Study | November 2, 2010

Case Study: CERN Accelerates Research And Discovery Using Quantum StorNext File System

Collecting data from the collision between billions of particles demands a fast, reliable, and scalable IT infrastructure. CERN, the European organization for nuclear research, has deployed the high-performance workflow and intelligent archiving solution Quantum StorNext to help manage data arising from its ALICE experiment. ‘A Large Ion Collider Experiment', ALICE collects massive volumes of data and relies on StorNext to provide the high speed, shared workflow operations. Shared pools of data are created, allowing files to be processed more quickly—and for the scientific community to understand and exploit new ideas and discoveries more rapidly.

CERN—the European organization for nuclear research—is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. Founded in 1954 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the laboratory was one of Europe's first joint ventures and now includes 20 Member States. CERN has recently built the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which is a particle accelerator. In the LHC, very high energy protons will collide against protons, and heavy ions (like the nuclei of lead) will be collided against heavy ions. This will allow scientists to penetrate still further into the structure of matter and recreate the conditions prevailing in the universe just a few million millionths' of a second after the ‘Big Bang'.

One of the experiments assigned to the LHC is ALICE. This is one of the largest experiments in the world devoted to research in the physics of matter at an infinitely small scale. Hosted at CERN, it involves an international collaboration of more than 1,000 physicists, engineers and technicians from 30 countries. Together they are contributing to the resolution of one of the latest challenges in fundamental physics: recounting the birth of matter. When ALICE goes live, particle collisions will produce massive amounts of data collected via detectors.