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RENATER and the National Center for Scientific Research join CERN’s 2024 Data Challenge

Incoming and outgoing data between the CC-IN2P3 and the other international laboratories (CERN and top-level sites) during the LHC experiment data challenge via the RENATER network
Incoming and outgoing data between the CC-IN2P3 and the other international laboratories (CERN and top-level sites) during the LHC experiment data challenge via the RENATER network

Words: Boris Dintrans, CEO of RENATER and Laurent Gydé, COO of RENATER

RENATER, the French National Research and Education Network operates a secure national and international connectivity network with the aim to promote the influence of national French research within international research projects.

At the end of February 2024 during the 2024 Data Challenge (DC24), the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) ran an initial large-scale test which was carried out worldwide to validate the operation and size of the networks and software infrastructure to transfer the data produced of the future HL-LHC (High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider). In France, RENATER and the IN2P3 CNRS computing center have confirmed that the network infrastructure is capable of supporting the expected data rates.

Expected to deliver high-intensity beams from 2029, HL-LHC is the upgrade to the world’s most powerful particle accelerator and will bring rich physics opportunities for CERN’s global experiments. The LHC’s data processing infrastructure is made up of almost two hundred sites spread across the planet and organised into several levels. At the center of this computing grid CERN distributes the data to fourteen international Tier 1 centers, which are in turn responsible for feeding a second tier (Tier 2) made up of around 160 sites spread across the globe. With the evolution of the LHC, it is essential to adapt the transfer capacities between the different sites of this computing infrastructure in order to absorb the considerable increase in data from the HL-LHC. The aim of DC24 across all the first-level sites was to validate the software and the performance of the data storage systems, and to test the various inter-site network links deployed around the world, whether they are dedicated to the LHCONE, the LHCOPN, or shared with other uses.

RENATER provides the network infrastructure to CC-IN2P3, a major player in scientific computing for the exploitation of data from major physics experiments and a Tier 1 site for the LHC. In order to guarantee the success of this data challenge, RENATER increased the CC-IN2P3 connectivity dedicated to the LHC from 200 to 400 Gbit/s at the beginning of 2024. RENATER’s connectivity to the European GÉANT network has also been upgraded to a total capacity of 800 Gbit/s.

The observations of the network links during the exercise have shown sustained speeds of 200Gbit/s on LHCOPN and 200Gbit/s on LHCONE, in parallel and for several hours. This optimal use of the network links dedicated to the LHC experiments, which represented only 25% of the capacity to be reached by 2029 for the HL-LHC, is excellent news for the ramp-up of this infrastructure in the years to come.

Boris Dintrans, General Director of RENATER explained:

“RENATER has been serving the French scientific community and contributing to its influence for over 30 years. As part of the preparation of the computing infrastructures to process the future HL-LHC data, this data challenge has enabled us to validate with our colleagues from the CNRS the capacities and robustness of our network to best support this world-scale project.”

GÉANT CONNECT Magazine - CONNECT 46 -TNC24This article is featured on CONNECT 46, the latest issue of the GÉANT CONNECT Magazine!

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