ALICE rewards one of its suppliers

On 6 October 2007 the ALICE Collaboration Board awarded one of its prestigious Industrial Awards to Hewlett-Packard for its instrumental role in enabling ALICE physicists to collect and process experimental data on the Grid.

From left to right: Jurgen Schukraft, ALICE Spokesperson; Michel Bénard, Hewlett Packard, Director, Technology Programs and University Relations; Federico Carminati, ALICE Computing Project Leader; Lodovico Riccati, ALICE Collaboration Board Chairperson; Arnaud Pierson, Hewlett Packard, E.M.E.A Program Manager, University Relations and HP Labs; Latchezar Betev, ALICE Distributed Computing Coordinator.

The ALICE DAQ and Offline groups have been collaborating with HP since 1993 in the yearly Computing and GRID physics data challenges programme. These are high-level exercises of readiness of hardware and software frameworks for data acquisition and processing.

HP hosted ALICE experts in their "centre de compétences" in Grenoble, performing tests prepared with the help of HP experts over several months and using a large HP cluster.

Present data challenges involve real-time event generation and high-speed, high-volume transfer of data, up to 1.5 GB/s and 130 TB/day, to mass storage and the subsequent offline data reconstruction on the WLCG reaching up to 6000 concurrently running jobs distributed over 60 computing centres worldwide.

The Offline group has deployed and is using some 20 high performance servers, operating in continuous 24/7 mode. The cluster management and monitoring is built around the unique HP server remote management system (Integrated LightsOut’ (iLO)). This system assures extremely high hardware availability, above 99%, and a considerable reduction of the operational costs and management effort. The total value of the deployed hardware is approximately 200KCHF.

This award recognises the special support given by HP, both in terms of hardware and access to expert help, well beyond the normal customer - provider relationship, testifying their genuine commitment to the success of ALICE Computing and interest in providing effective solutions for high-end and demanding scientific applications.