GridKa online storage massively expanded

The Worldwide LHC Computing GridKa Tier-1 center is massively expanding its storage. An additional newly installed 71 petabytes of online storage are available. Data migration is now complete for almost all experiments.

One disk server of the new online storage system (shown here pulled out of the rack), carries over 100 hard drives, each with 18 terabytes of capacity.

In spring 2023, the expansion of the online storage system for the GridKa Tier-1 center in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid at KIT was put into operation. The newly installed 71 petabytes are available to the LHC experiments ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb and the experiments Belle-II, Pierre Auger Observatory, Icecube and DARWIN and also replace 30 petabytes of storage hardware that will be decommissioned after six years. In total, GridKa now has 99 petabytes of online storage.

Unfortunately, the commissioning was delayed by a year due to the chip and logistics crisis following the Corona pandemic and the Ukraine war. The new installation consists of high-density Seagate CORVAULT systems with a total of 4664 18-terabyte hard drives, 70 servers and Infiniband switches that were integrated into the existing Infiniband network fabrics. IBM Storage Scale is used as the software-defined storage tier. The existing file systems were not extended, but new file systems were created. This allows new NVMe-based metadata storage systems to be deployed and new features of IBM Storage Scale to be used. The data for almost all experiments has already been migrated and the systems are in productive operation.


Contact at SCC: Dr. Serge Sushkov


Achim Grindler