A grid computing project supporting research into the origins of the universe has succeeded in pumping physics data across a worldwide grid at speeds of up to one gigabyte a second.
The Worldwide LHC Computing Grid collaboration is building the computing infrastructure for the Large Hadron Collider, set to be the largest scientific instrument on earth. It will be used to study the fundamental properties of subatomic particles and forces, in experiments expected to generate around 15 million gigabytes of data a year.
In tests, the project has now successfully sustained a continuous data flow across an international grid infrastructure at up to a gigabyte a second, according to an official announcement at the Computing for High Energy and Nuclear Physics 2006 conference in Mumbai, India.
The data speeds are equivalent to transferring a DVD-worth of scientific data every five seconds.
The milestone test saw data transferred from the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland, to 12 major computer centres around the globe. More than 20 other computing facilities were also involved in successful tests for real-time storage, distribution and analysis of the data via the grid.
The results show a significant step forward for the project since similar tests in early 2005, involving seven centres in Europe and the US, which achieved sustained data flow rates of 600 megabytes per second.