Well, the LHC may be out of commission until April, but the LHC Computing Grid, otherwise known as the world's largest computing grid, was just switched on. The system is comprised of combined computing power from 33 countries. That's 140 computer centres crunching 15 million gigabytes of LHC data per year (or roughly six CDs/second at its peak).
The network uses fibre optic transmission to send information to 11 primary data centres in Europe, North America and Asia. From these centres, the data is passed to 140 secondary centres globally.
The processing architecture not only distributes the heavy processing load to computers across the world, but it allows 7,000 scientists to share access to LHC data, to sift through the mountains of information for a nugget of valuable data. And when it comes to understanding the fundamental nature of our Universe, we'll take all the eyes we can get. [China View]