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50 Petabyte LHC Data on tape!

Since yesterday, more than 50 petabytes of data from the high-energy physics experiments of the Large Hadron Collider (CERN) at KIT have been stored on tape cassettes of the Grid Computing Centre Karlsruhe.

Data volume of the four LHC experiments stored on tape at GridKa during the year 2018

On 16.12.2018, shortly after the end of Run 2 of the particle accelerator LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN, the amount of data stored in the GridKa tape system of the LHC experiments exceeded 50 petabytes (PB). Another approx. 30 PB data are currently stored on disk storage systems.
In total, the four experiments of the LHC ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb generated more than 80 PB data in 2018. As one of the largest Tier 1 centers of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG), GridKa is responsible for archiving and processing a significant portion of this data.

For the storage of 50 PB data, around 6300 tape cassettes are required, which, lined up in a shelf, require 160 meters of space. The amount of data stored on tape corresponds to approx. 12.5 billion photos.


Dr. Andreas Heiss