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RHUL Adds New Processing Capacity to Large Hadron Collider’s Grid Computing Facility

As the Large Hadron Collider again produces record-breaking collisions, Royal Holloway’s Centre for Particle Physics has doubled its computing power to help analyse the flood of new data. New processing capacity has been added with compute nodes supplied and installed by XMA, thanks to funding from GridPP and RHUL’s own infrastructure investment. The total computing power now stands at 37 kHEPSPEC06 from around 2000 CPU cores along with 1.4 PetaBytes of storage for the data. This is connected by high speed networks to similar facilities around the world to form the “LHC Computing Grid” which is used by thousands of physicists worldwide to analyse and simulate data for the LHC experiments. Data from the ATLAS experiment is used to study the properties of the Higgs boson, the top quark and other Standard Model particles, and to search for signs of new physics such as Dark Matter, Gravitons and Supersymmetry.

Pedro Teixeira Dias, Head of the Physics Department, said “The LHC has recently increased its reach to search for evidence of new physics, not only by increasing the proton-proton collision energy from 8 to 13 TeV, but also by aiming for much larger datasets than before. This increase in the RHUL Grid computing power comes at the right time to support the analysis of the data for the next few years.”

Simon George, senior research officer, said “thanks to the strategic investments of the college and STFC through the GridPP collaboration we’re able to provide one of the leading Grid clusters in the UK. The new systems are have already been working hard to produce the latest conference results.”

Govind Songara, system administrator, said “the new compute nodes from XMA were installed very quickly and proved easy to integrate into our existing system. They provide a huge boost to our computing power.”


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