CERN Accelerating science

About CERN openlab

CERN openlab is a unique public-private partnership that accelerates the development of cutting-edge solutions for the worldwide LHC community and wider scientific research. Through CERN openlab, CERN collaborates with leading ICT companies and research institutes.

Within this framework, CERN provides access to its complex IT infrastructure and its engineering experience, in some cases even extended to collaborating institutes worldwide. Testing in CERN’s demanding environment provides the ICT industry partners with valuable feedback on their products while allowing CERN to assess the merits of new technologies in their early stages of development for possible future use. This framework also offers a neutral ground for carrying out advanced R&D with more than one company.

CERN openlab was created in 2001 and is now in the phase V (2015-2017). This phase tackles ambitious challenges covering the most critical needs of IT infrastructures in domains such as data acquisition, computing platforms, data storage architectures, compute provisioning and management, networks and communication, and data analytics.

CERN openlab entered the second year of its fourth phase in 2013, and continues to go from strength to strength. Founded in 2001 to develop the innovative IT systems needed to cope with the unprecedented computing challenges of the LHC, openlab unites science and industry at the cutting edge of research and innovation.

CERN openlab has generated a long list of technical achievements over the years and played a vital role in the recent discovery of the Higgs boson. This flexible collaboration enables partnerships to flourish when time is right for both CERN and industry. This year, new projects started with Rackspace, which joined CERN openlab as a contributor, and Yandex, which joined as an associate. Meanwhile, the ViSION (Virtual Services In OpenFlow Networks) project with HP came to an end. Huawei, which initially joined CERN openlab in 2012 as a contributor for one year, also became a full partner in the Storage Architecture Competence Centre with a three-year programme of work.

The results presented in this report provide tangible evidence of the virtuous circle linking basic and applied science. The work carried out in 2013 with these newcomers, as well as with partners HP, Intel, Oracle and Siemens, has borne fruits that will be instrumental in ensuring our IT capacity meets the challenges of the LHC new run in 2015. I therefore take this opportunity to thank all our current and past industry members for their support.

Education is an essential part of CERN openlab’s DNA and I would like to highlight the fundamental role played by the young researchers hired by CERN and funded by the partner and contributor companies. These young researchers and students demonstrate remarkable curiosity and ingenuity; they truly are the catalyst for many creative ideas within CERN openlab and beyond.

    Rolf Heuer
Director General of CERN
CERN openlab Annual Report  2013