CERN helps physicists unlock the secrets of the universe.


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Helping physicists solve one of the greatest scientific mysteries of our time.

Thousands of scientists around the world are sifting through seemingly limitless amounts of data from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), searching for proof of new fundamental particles that could unlock the secrets of the universe.

CERN experiments create 600 million collisions per second, generating data at a jaw‑dropping 1 million GB every second. Even after that data is filtered, CERN is left with more than 20PB of data each year from its experiments, all of which must be stored permanently and distributed to physicists around the world for analysis.

Oracle databases, all running on NetApp storage, support everything from administration to the experiments – even the running of the accelerator itself. The accelerator database, which is growing at a rate of 50TB per year and now features more than 4.1 trillion rows of data, controls the conditions within the accelerator. It takes three weeks to warm up the magnets in the LHC and three weeks to cool them off, so any break in the data would be a huge setback for scientists and the organisation.

About this Customer

CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of nature.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 20 Member States.

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