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NetApp Storage Helps CERN Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

Agile Data Infrastructure Enables CERN to Effectively Analyze Data from 600 Million Particle Collisions per Second and Address more than 20PB Annual Data Growth

SUNNYVALE, Calif.-September 26, 2012- Scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, search for clues that will help unlock the secrets of the universe. In the quest for answers, scientists gather mind-boggling amounts of data from the trillions of proton collisions that occur within four points of CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful particle accelerator in the world. It's from this very same data that scientists in July uncovered one of the greatest findings ever in particle physics-a new particle consistent with the long-sought Higgs Boson, a particle that is believed to give all other particles mass and a finding that people around the world have been anticipating for more than 50 years.

An agile data infrastructure, such as a NetApp® (NASDAQ: NTAP) storage foundation, provides CERN with the ability to deliver impact faster through more effective search and data management (Intelligent), achieve nondisruptive operations (Immortal), and scale without limits to meet the demands of ongoing particle research (Infinite).

"A primary goal for CERN is to help expand human understanding of the world we live in," said Tony Cass, Databases Services Group Leader, IT department, CERN. "The information that we are searching for is contained within a sea of data that is equivalent to searching for a needle in 20 million haystacks. To make these searches a success we require an IT infrastructure that can store and manage staggering amounts of data and give us around-the-clock access to it. Oracle® Databases running on top of NetApp storage are a key element of this infrastructure."

Since 2006, CERN has leveraged NetApp technology to help drive innovation and excellence in scientific discovery. The answers derived from CERN's particle research will not only help explain the universe around us but also accelerate advancements in information technology. CERN has achieved amazing results that include the following.

  • LHC experiments create 600 million collisions per second, which is a raw data rate of 1 million GB/sec. This huge volume of data must be distributed to physicists to analyze at 140 computing centers in 35 different countries.
  • In addition to NetApp, CERN leverages Oracle Database in support of the LHC and relies on NetApp to store the data on the Oracle Database, including one with 4.1 trillion rows of data. This operational data amounts to more than 50TB per year and is relied upon by scientists to store the measurements and instrumentation records needed to calibrate the experiments. NetApp helps provide the nondisruptive operations and unlimited scalability required to help CERN accelerate science.
  • CERN uses NetApp Flash Cache technology to increase overall performance and reduce the data center footprint by two times what would have been required to manage similar technical requirements. As a result, CERN is able to increase overall efficiencies and effectively manage its IT operations within its fixed resources.

Supporting Quote

  • Dave Hitz, Cofounder and Executive Vice President, NetApp
    "CERN's work is awe inspiring. I mean, the research they do is addressing many of the universe's questions and is nearly impossible to understand. CERN leans heavily on technology to aid in their research, so they are the perfect example for how important it is to build on the right IT infrastructure. NetApp is thrilled to provide the storage foundation that helps CERN accelerate scientific discovery."

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Press Contact:
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(408) 822-7544

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