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Case Study - versiondog on the trail of the Big Bang at Cern

  • Text
  • Versiondog
  • Cern
  • Auvesy

CASE STUDY CERN

CASE STUDY CERN one billion euros, the Organization receives visits from around 11,000 scientists all over the world who are working on various projects. The main focus of their research is the exploration of the fundamental particles that make up the Universe. Powerful accelerators are used to bring particles to near light speed. The biggest is the LHC (Large Hadron Collider). To reach it, it is first necessary to descend 100 m underground. Then you would need a bicycle if you wanted to follow the 27 km circumference of the collider. Doing so, you would “With ong>versiondogong> we have made significant gains in safety and quality in terms of the data availability of our applications with many of CERN’s programmable logic controllers.” pass several thousand electromagnets, some as big as a freight container, masses of cables, gigantic detectors and many computers. All this to do research on the smallest particles in nature. To help answer questions about the origin of the universe. And other questions, such as why is there far more matter than antimatter in the universe? Inside the ring, elementary particles are accelerated by the electromagnets to speeds close to that of light, i.e. in the region of 300,000 km per second. Then they are smashed together at predetermined collision zones. This causes a shower of particles, the trails of which can be traced and analysed by huge detectors. The Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) was developed to handle the enormous quantity of data produced. Dispersed across the globe, this computing and data storage network can deal with data volumes in the order of 30 Petabytes. Now we can see what has changed The control programs of CERN’s auxiliary and utility systems (cryogenics, cooling systems, air conditioning, gas supply, electricity, interlocks, etc.) undergo a continual process of development and modification. The cryogenics have a particularly important role to play here because when the LHC is in operation, the magnets have to be kept at a constant temperature of 1.9 Kelvin (-271 degrees Celcius). Things have improved a lot since ong>versiondogong> has been on the scene. All changes, no matter when they are made, where, or by whom, are detected then saved and documented centrally. Plain to see for everyone. All members of staff now go to the same place to access the same control software. The most recently approved and released version is always available. It is backed up regularly and changes made by colleagues can no longer be missed, overwritten or lost by mistake. There are already 10 teams managing around 500 control systems with ong>versiondogong>. In the near future, around 1,500 components in use at CERN are set to be integrated into the ong>versiondogong> system. ong>versiondogong> brings certainty Jerónimo Ortolá Vidal, Automation engineer at the Industrial Controls and Safety systems Group of the Beams Department at CERN Management of the various individual processes and control systems is the responsibility of a number of different departments. Within this structure, Ortolá’s department provides CERN wide support service. It was with the goal of standardising processes across departments in mind that the ong>versiondogong> system was introduced. Staff now have a much clearer picture of processes and their current status. Any and all changes are comprehensible and visible to Page 2/4

CASE STUDY CERN A clear overview of all components is available at one click. everyone. And they can be undone if necessary. Furthermore, a backup of all data is performed once a week. “Errors made while modifying programs have been reduced to an absolute minimum since we have been using ong>versiondogong>,” explains Ortolá. “Centralised data storage guarantees that we are always working with the latest and most recently approved and released program versions.” But if for some reason a system goes down, the latest version is immediately available. What’s more, the system checks that the version running on a control system (the online version) really does correspond to the latest version that was saved on the server (the offline version). Before ong>versiondogong>, changes could go unnoticed. Regular online-offline comparisons ensure that this can no longer happen. If a discrepancy is detected, the system informs the appropriate administrator by email. All this means that ong>versiondogong> has led to an improvement in quality and an increase in the level of work process standardisation at CERN. Moving forward Research and development in a facility such as CERN never comes to an end. Ortolá is continually adapting the ong>versiondogong> system to the changing needs of the Organization. When he needs support, he gets it directly from the data management specialists AUVESY. There he can find the help he needs with individual elements of configuration and with broader adaptations of the system to new conditions. Ortolá sums up: “ong>versiondogong> makes it possible for us at CERN to safeguard our control system data and store it centrally, which is a crucial element for the Organization.” Page 3/4

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