Rackspace To Build a Cloud for CERN

July 16, 2013


Rackspace To Build a Cloud for CERN

CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics famous for chasing after the so-called God Particle these days, has tapped Rackspace to help it build a hybrid cloud computing system so capacity can be brought to bear on big workloads as needed.

Naturally Rackspace will be using its pet open source cloud operating system Openstack.

CERN’s experiments create a massive amount of data for analysis, roughly 25PT a year.

It has previously used Rackspace to burst certain workloads into the Rackspace public cloud. This time the two mean to tie Rackspace’s public and private cloud services with other Openstack-based cloud systems that CERN operates in its data centers.

The collaboration will take a year.


CERN’s openlab provides a framework to test and validate cutting-edge information technologies and services in partnership with industry.

The new partnership with Rackspace will entail several joint initiatives, focused on creating a reference architecture and operational model for federated cloud services using the Rackspace Private Cloud, the Rackspace Public Cloud and CERN’s OpenStack powered clouds.

Jim Curry, general manager of Rackspace Private Cloud, said, “This is a landmark moment for Rackspace, as we feel this is an opportunity to take our already mutually beneficial relationship with CERN to new heights Through ongoing collaboration with CERN openlab, we will broaden the global reach of our hybrid cloud solutions, while simultaneously helping to set the pace of innovation within the field of particle physics.”

CERN physicists and engineers use advanced science and technology daily to further humanity’s understanding of the universe. This includes conducting ground-breaking experiments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. By using some of the largest and most powerful particle accelerators in the world, including CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), CERN produces more than 25PT of data annually.

It says it is leveraging OpenStack software to manage the resources across its two data centers that power the LHC and literally help unlock the mysteries of the universe.

Under the new collaborative agreement, the Rackspace Private Cloud platform will now be deployed on servers that CERN uses for production physics experiments. Rackspace and CERN openlab will test and ensure the seamless federation between private and public cloud platforms to accommodate excess workloads, and experience the true value of the hybrid loud.

The expanded relationship consists of key elements such as:

  • Federated Cloud Services based on OpenStack Cloud Technologies – Rackspace will work with CERN openlab to federate CERN’s current managed services into Rackspace’s open public and private cloud environments.

  • Personnel Support – Rackspace will fund one full-time member of the CERN personnel team, who will help create cloud federation technologies.

CERN expects to realize massive scaling by leveraging the work of others.


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