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At the end of 2018, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) completed its second multi-year run ("Run 2") that saw the machine reach a proton–proton collision energy of 13 TeV, the highest ever reached by a particle accelerator. During this run, from 2015 to 2018, LHC experiments produced unprecedented volumes of data with the machine's performance exceeding all expectations.

This meant exceptional use of computing, with many records broken in terms of data acquisition, data
ratesand data volumes. The CERN Advanced Storage system (CASTOR), which relies on a tape-based backend for permanent data archiving, reached 330 PB of data (equivalent to 330 million gigabytes) stored on tape, an equivalent of over 2000 years of 24/7 HD video recording. In November 2018 alone, a record-breaking 15.8 PB of data were recorded on tape, a remarkable achievement given that it corresponds to more than what was recorded during the first year of the LHC's Run 1.

The distributed storage system for the LHC experiments exceeded 200 PB of raw storage with about 600 million files. This system (EOS) is disk-based
andopen-source, and was developed at CERN for the extreme LHC computing requirements. As well as this, 830 PB of data and 1.1 billion files were transferred all over the world by file transfer service. To face these computing challenges and to better support the CERN experiments during Run 2, the entire computing infrastructure, and notably the storage systems, went through major upgrades and consolidation over the past few years.

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Category: Science