On Friday 1 February, 2013, CERN and Oracle celebrated 30 years of collaboration. In addition to providing hardware and software to CERN for three decades, Oracle has now been involved in the CERN openlab project for 10 years.
The celebration, which capped off the "IT requirements for the next generation of research infrastructures workshop" held at CERN, saw CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer present Loïc le Guisquet, executive vice president of Oracle Europe, Middle East, and Africa with a small award to mark the occasion. Heuer presented Guisquet with an Oracle tape mounted in glass and marked with the following inscription: "LHC data are stored on Oracle tapes similar to the one presented on this award. This specific tape stores the videos of the announcement of the discovery of the new boson, which took place at CERN on 4th July 2012".
“It is important that IT infrastructures for research embrace new technologies in a manner that is not only useful for researchers, but also improves the competitiveness of many business sectors,” says Heuer, who cites the collaboration between Oracle and CERN as an excellent example of this. “CERN has been working continuously with Oracle over the last 30 years,” he adds. “Oracle is also a long-standing partner of CERN openlab and I think it has developed into a successful model over the last decade now of public-private partnerships in the IT domain.”
CERN openlab is a unique public-private partnership between CERN and a range of leading IT companies. Its mission is to accelerate the development of cutting-edge solutions to be used by the worldwide LHC community. “By using CERN openlab as a showcase, companies can then promote their products and their services to other labs and different business sectors,” says Bob Jones, head of the organization. “We are proud to be part of this collaboration,” says Le Guisquet. “We are energised by it and we want it to go on because it always stretches our limits.”
“In 1982, CERN came to us with a massive challenge, which was to manage a huge database of 200 megabytes, or something like that – of course, this is probably just two minutes of an HD movie these days,” says Le Guisquet. “Now, we are working with petabytes and exabytes, we’re trying to capture data faster, to manage it more reliably, and to make sense out of it through sophisticated analytics.”
“We see huge evolution of the industry,” he adds. “The needs of CERN today are the needs of the commercial world not far ahead in the future ... working with CERN openlab helps us to stretch the limits, be more creative and find new ways to develop – it’s very exciting for all of us.”