CERN gets real-time data with Software AG’s Terracotta BigMemory

CERN is using Software AG’s in-memory data management software BigMemory to support system availability for the Large Hadron Collider

CERN is using Software AG’s in-memory data management software BigMemory to support system availability.

Engineers and physicists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research are using Software AG’s Terracotta BigMemory to monitor the Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC) support systems and ensure it is always available, the supplier has revealed.

Scientists at CERN are restarting research this year after a programme of maintenance and upgrades to prepare the LHC to run at almost double the energy. This, it is said, will enable the scientists to probe the structure of the universe in search of the basic constituents of matter and to gain insights into the fundamental laws of nature.

“At CERN, there is little room for error, and system availability is a critical factor that can determine success or failure," said CERN software engineer Matthias Bräger. "Giving engineers and operators up-to-date information, in real time and without interruption, means that if and when the smallest deviation occurs, they can act on it immediately and avoid any unintended consequences.”

BigMemory has helped provide maximum support system availability since the launch of something called the Control and Monitoring Platform (C2MON), which provides real-time information concerning the many support systems that maintain an optimal operating environment for the collider.

The LHC has 94,000 sensors creating more than 1.5 million non-redundant events per day. CERN’s engineers and operators get, analyse and act, in real time, on the data from the sensors using the Terracotta software that Software AG acquired with the company in 2011. The sensors provide information on the power supply, temperature levels, airlocks status, ventilation and other systems.

Philippe La Fornara, chief operating officer, southern and Eastern Europe and Latin America at the supplier, said: “As well as high-performance throughput, BigMemory provides automatic failover for C2MON, and the ability to add system upgrades without interrupting monitoring services. This ensures that the engineers and operators can survey infrastructure systems without significant downtime.”

Image courtesy of CERN.

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