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Big data, big grid

With the news that the CERN data center has recorded over 100 petabytes of physics data over the last 20 years, you may be wondering how on Earth all of this gets analyzed. The answer: The Worldwide LHC Computing Grid, or 'WLCG' for short.

Launched in 2002, the WLCG is a global collaboration of more than 170 computing centres in 36 countries, linking up national and international grid infrastructures. You can watch data being shared using the WLCG in real time, using the aptly named 'Real Time Monitor' (below), which also displays information from the European Grid Infrastructure:

Click on the image above to go to the Real Time Monitor website.

Alternatively, you can look at data transfer on the WLCG using the Google Earth Dashboard:

Click on the image above to go to the WLCG Google Earth Dashboard. You can also follow the status of the WLCG in your own Google Earth setup, by following the instructions here.

For more information about the grid, why not visit e-Science City's GridCafé, or read the latest posts on the GridCast blog? You can also find more articles on the grid in our archive, here.

Finally, you can watch a short animated explainer of what the WLCG is and how it works, created by Sandbox Studio for Symmetry magazine...

- Andrew Purcell

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