You are on page 1of 5

How CerN

makes progress
No Time for DowNTime
When youre trying to understand the building blocks of matter, the origin of the universe and everything in between, system downtime is not an option. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, explores these complex, epic issues using the worlds largest and most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). CERNs goal is to recreate the Big Bang with the LHC, using its thousand 15-meter magnets to fire particles into each other. With particles colliding at the speed of light, the Technical Infrastructure Monitoring (TIM) system tracking LHC operations must be reliable. Thats why CERN adopted Progress SonicMQ , the industrys most robust and resilient enterprise messaging system, as the communications infrastructure for TIM.

Th e C h a lle n g e
Ensure the Technical Infrastructure Monitoring system is reliable

Th e S o luTi o n
A high-performing, continuously available messaging system

Th e R e S u lT
Real-time insight into Large Hadron Collider operations; zero downtime for the monitoring infrastructure; over 150 systems monitored with 50,000 measuring points delivering nearly 2.6 million values a day

www.progress.com

a Complex TeCHNiCal iNfrasTruCTure


Located west of Lake Geneva, CERN is spread out over Swiss and French territory. The most important systems, such as the Large Hadron Collider, are underground. The LHC is in a circular tunnel with a circumference of 27 km, the latest addition to CERNs existing linear and circular accelerators. In the LHC tunnel, more than 1,000 super conducting magnets, each 15 meters long, will accelerate elementary particlesprotons or heavy ionsthrough a vacuum filled tunnel to 99.99% of the speed of light. When these particles are fired into each other in opposing trajectories, their impacts involve extremely high energy levels. Physical conditions similar to those immediately after the Big Bang are created for fractions of a second. Its no surprise that it takes a highly complex technical infrastructure to run this huge research laboratory and its scientific systems. These includes the power supplythe LHC needs as much electricity as all of the households in the city of Geneva combinedventilation of underground systems, refrigeration for the super conducting magnets, high-performance vacuum pumps, water pumps, air conditioners, fire alarms, communication systems and access control. Currently, over 100 technical infrastructure systems with about 25,000 individual measuring points generate around 1.3 million individual items of information daily. When the LHC becomes fully operational, over 150 systems with 50,000 measuring points will be delivering around 2.6 million values a day. This infrastructure is monitored round the clock by the CERN Control Centre (CCC), built for the LHC on the French CERN site in Prvessin. The data to be monitored is collected, evaluated, stored and distributed using CERNs Technical Infrastructure Monitoring system (TIM). Using TIM, the status of any equipmentany vacuum pump, relay or valvecan be checked online at any time. This infrastructure information is kept completely separate from physics data and experimental results, which are managed in dedicated IT systems in a separate control center.

www.progress.com

moNiToriNg wiTH Tim


The information provided by the infrastructure systems is merged in TIM and provided to users via a graphical user interface, ensuring a consistent look and feel. A logging system integrated in TIM automatically stores selected data for further evaluation and subsequent checking. This is useful for postmortem analysis of severe equipment malfunctions. Just as important, TIM automatically informs the central LHC Alarm Service (LASER) of problems with the technical infrastructure that may be of interest to the different site services. In total, TIM contains about 20,0000 definitions of potential fault situations. TIM collects data from a broad range of different, widely distributed systems and also forwards control instructions to those systems, explains Jan Stowisek, a CERN engineer responsible for the TIM system. We have therefore implemented a flexible data acquisition mechanism that supports a large number of protocols and can be expanded by additional protocols if required. CERN started implementing TIM in 2003. It used J2EE because a number of systems at CERN were already based on this technology. Using similar hardware and software platforms for multiple systems significantly reduced support costs. For its communication infrastructure, TIM uses Progress Softwares messaging middleware, SonicMQ, based on JMS. As an asynchronous, messaging-oriented solution, JMS is much better suited for the challenges TIM faces than a connection-oriented client-server approach such as those supported by RMI or CORBA. It is the only communication protocol between the data acquisition, processing and distribution layers. Also, JMS allows a clear separation of these layers, which means that the implementation of one layer is independent of the implementation of the other system components, explains Jan Stowisek. This is very convenient for maintenance work. For instance, we can perform maintenance

www.progress.com

on the application server without having to restart any of the client applications. JMS is also used for communication with the LASER alarm system.

HigHly available CommuNiCaTioNs iNfrasTruCTure


The initial TIM prototype was based on OpenJMS as a messaging middleware and JBoss as an application server. However, because a large volume of data needs to be processed, CERN required a highly available and high-performance solution. Considering the significant investments made at CERN, failures of the control systems could have serious consequences and result in a substantial financial burden. Unplanned downtime is unacceptable for such costly systems, considering that physicists from all over the world who come to CERN for only a few days would be interrupted in their experiments. We tested SonicMQ and were convinced by its availability features, especially with regard to clustering and load balancing, and its flexible configuration options, explained CERN Project Manager Anna Suwalska. We also received excellent support by Progress Software staff during our tests and during our subsequent design work for the solution. In its operational configuration, TIM currently uses a cluster of two SonicMQ brokers to ensure optimal availability. A third broker installed on a separate server manages the cluster. On the hardware side, the TIM application servers and JMS brokers are hosted on HP Proliant servers. An additional server is standing by to take over immediately should one of the primary servers fail. The scalability of the SonicMQ messaging solution is also critical for TIM. Currently, only the smaller CERN accelerators are being used for experiments. However, oncethe LHC is ready for operation, the amount of data to be processed will be far greater. For this reason, further servers can be added to the TIM infrastructure when necessary. SonicMQ now forms the
We tested SonicMQ and were convinced by its availability features, especially with regard to clustering and load balancing, and its flexible configuration options. We also received excellent support by Progress Software staff during our tests and during our subsequent design work for the solution.
Anna Suwalska CERN Project Manager

www.progress.com

backbone of TIM and, thus, of a large part of the technical infrastructure. A wide variety of information comes together on this bus and is distributed to various client systems. The solution is very reliable, explained CCC Technical Infrastructure Operations Manager Peter Sollander. Our success with TIM and LASER shows that J2EE technology is not just for eCommerce applications, but that it is also suitable for industrial process control, summarized Jan Stowisek.

CerN
CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) was founded in Geneva on 29 September, 1954, and currently has 20 member states. With more than 3,000 people, CERN is the worlds largest particle physics research facility. In addition, over 6000 guest scientists (called Users) from around the world are taking part in research in the fields of particle and high-energy physics at CERN. The results primarily serve basic research and the development of physical theories. CERN has built the worlds largest particle accelerator, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), with a circumference of 27 km. The LHC became operational in 2007. www.cern.ch

progress soNiCmq
SonicMQ is the most robust and reliable enterprise-class messaging system. In addition to its unparalleled availability and performance, it features unusually powerful management options and a new level of scalability for large and complex enterprise-class implementations. SonicMQ guarantees continuous availability with its Sonic Continuous Availability Architecture , for which patents are pending. Together with advanced cluster technologies, dynamic routing architecture ensures that SonicMQ installations can be expanded with great flexibility.

The management and implementation infrastructure provided by SonicMQ simplifies work related to missioncritical corporate communication systems significantly and reduces overall operating costs. Comprehensive support for authentication, authorization and encryption functions keeps messages and systems secureboth inside and outside the firewall.

progress sof T ware


Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS) is a global software company that enables enterprises to be operationally responsive to changing conditions and customer interactions as they occur. Our goal is to enable our customers to capitalize on new opportunities, drive greater efficiencies, and reduce risk. Progress offers a comprehensive portfolio of best-in-class infrastructure software spanning event-driven visibility and real-time response, open integration, data access and integration, and application development and managementall supporting on-premises and SaaS/cloud deployments. Progress maximizes the benefits of operational responsiveness while minimizing IT complexity and total cost of ownership.

worlDwiDe HeaDquarTers
Progress Software Corporation, 14 Oak Park, Bedford, MA 01730 USA Tel: +1 781 280-4000 Fax: +1 781 280-4095 On the Web at: www.progress.com For international office locations and contact information, please refer to: www.progress.com/worldwide
2009 Progress Software Corporation and/or its subsidiaries or affiliates. All rights reserved. Progress and SonicMQ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Progress Software Corporation or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. Any other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners. Specifications subject to change without notice. Rev. 09/09 | 6252-127876