01 Jun 2006
Cern, the world's largest particle physics laboratory and birthplace
of the web, is starting a two-year project to improve security for its
worldwide data grid.
The European organisation for nuclear research identified that partner
sites on the grid are a security concern; many are open access public
institutions supporting the lab's projects.
Cern tests innovative technologies in partnership with industry, and
has asked security specialists Stonesoft and F-Secure to test security
for the launch of the large hadron collider (LHC) project next year.
The 27km underground particle accelerator will distribute large
amounts of information onto the worldwide LHC computing grid. More
than 1GB per second of data will be generated and either stored at
Cern or sent to 12 major computing sites and a further 100 institutes
around the world for analysis.
"The results of the security trials may provide solutions which could
eventually be commercially available to other organisations," said
Cern spokesman Francois Grey.
Although large data grids are only starting to be used in business,
Cern is seeing a lot of interest from industry. The lab is developing
grids that will reach across organisational boundaries, allowing
multiple institutions to share resources.
"Businesses are now becoming interested in this kind of grid," said
Grey. "Its use could enable suppliers and companies to share resources
and large corporations to share information between business units.
Grid technology will only be adopted if the right type of security
solutions are available."
Particle collisions in the LHC will create 15 petabytes per year of
data, and it is due to run for a decade. The grid will have a storage
and analysis infrastructure accessed by more than 7,000 scientists
The aim of the LHC is to simulate the events taking place one
millionth of a millionth of a second after the universe was created -
information that could revolutionise our understanding of how the
natural world works.
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