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CERN collaborates with SKA on Big Data

cern collaborates with ska on big data

CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, has announced collaboration with the SKA organization. In what is arguably the biggest collaboration in the field of research, two of the biggest names in the field are coming together to work in the area of extreme-scale computing.

The agreement, according to CERN, will establish a framework for collaborative projects that addresses joint challenges in approaching Exascale computing and data storage. This has been monumental to CERN as the LHC, in itself has surpassed 200 PB data in the last 7 years. The SKA, which was originally founded to manage the Square Kilometer Array which was built in Australia, also generates boat loads of data every day.

“The signature of this collaboration agreement between two of the largest producers of science data on the planet shows that we are really entering a new era of science worldwide”, said Prof. Philip Diamond, SKA Director-General. “Both CERN and SKA are and will be pushing the limits of what is possible technologically, and by working together and with industry, we are ensuring that we are ready to make the most of this upcoming data and computing surge.”

Around the world, as countries strive to innovate and leap forward technologically, the demands also keep rising, especially the demand for managing data. When the SKA project was conceived they had no idea it was going to bring this kind of torrential data. The same goes for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The two projects produce data like its second nature.

According to the agreement, both institutions identify the acquisition, storage, management, distribution, and analysis of scientific data as particularly burning topics to meet the technological challenges. In the case of the SKA, which is one of the largest producers of the data in the world (only in its infancy), produces around 300 PB (petabytes) of data products every year. And that is just Phase 1; phase 2 is yet to commence.

The LHC computing demands are tackled by the Worldwide LHC computing grid which employs more than half a million computing cores around the globe interconnected by a powerful network. As our demands increase with the planned intensity upgrade of the LHC we want to expand this concept by using common ideas and infrastructure, into a scientific cloud. SKA will be an ideal partner in this endeavour.” said Prof. Eckhard Elsen, CERN Director of Research and Computing.

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