CERN Upgrades Network With Brocade Gear

An overview of the computer center at CERN, which recently upgraded its network infrastructure to support data delivery related to the Large Hadron Collider.

As it seeks to expand delivery of technical data from the Large Hadron Collider, CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) has upgraded its network infrastructure, installing Brocade MLXe Core Routers to support a data environment that exceeds 15 petabytes (15 million gigabytes) per year.

CERN’s requirements for high throughput computing (HTC) are designed to move data to tens of thousands of computers worldwide that are joined in a distributed computing network called the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG). The current capacity of the core network at CERN is in the region of 4.2 Terabits per second (Tbps), and has doubled in the last two years. CERN projects that its capacity will reach more than 10 Tbps in 2011, and decided to address this capacity with Brocade MLXe-32, MLXe-16 and MLXe-8 routers. For CERN, the Brocade MLXe chassis also provides a future migration path to higher densities of both 10 GbE and 100 GbE ports.

“Brocade’s MLXe solution met our stringent requirements (we test products to destruction), and will not just deliver a solution for our immediate needs but also gives us a platform to 100 GbE when the time is right,” commented Jean-Michel Jouanigot, Communication Systems Group Leader, IT Department, at CERN. “I do not see our appetite for data waning in the future, so with the addition of the Brocade MLXe solution in our environment, I am confident we have a blueprint for success.”

“The volumes of data generated by the LHC’s experiments are mind-blowing” said Alberto Soto, vice president EMEA at Brocade. “But the WLCG collaboration has developed an extremely efficient method of collecting and analysing this information. With the addition of the Brocade MLXe solution, CERN is future-proofing its network to ensure that it continues its work, and Brocade is delighted to be part of this journey.”

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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