Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Large Hadron Collider

LHCb (Photo Credit: CERN)

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has been in the news as it comes online.

An interesting paper (Management of the LHCb Network Based on SCADA System) describes the data collection network associated with the LHCb experiment. High-speed switched Ethernet networks are used to collect measurements from the experiment and to control its operation. The paper states that, "Sophisticated monitoring of both networks at all levels is essential for the successful operation of the experiment."

The network monitoring system uses sFlow to measure network utilization on the core switches. "Because there are so many ports in the core switches, the SNMP query of interface counters takes a long time and occupies a lot CPU and memory resource."

The distributed counter polling mechanism in sFlow provides a highly scalable alternative to SNMP polling, delivering reliable monitoring in the most demanding environments. Network visibility in the data center is equally important and sFlow provides the scalability and performance needed to maintain effective control of high-speed data center networks.

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