September 10, 2008 - Physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research and leading laboratory for particle physics, use VMware Fusion to share Linux-based computer code via VMware virtual machines.


Virtual machines created with VMware Fusion are used by the physicists working on the experiments that run on the world’s largest particle accelerator, Large Hadron Collider (LHC).


With VMware Fusion, physicists use Macintosh hardware to run Linux-based software, which links to LHC Computing Grid - a network of more than 150 computing centres with approximately 40,000 central processing units, handling 15 petabytes of new data each year. This Grid can be accessed from CernVM, a customized Linux operating system running in a lightweight VMware virtual machine deployed on a range of PC and Mac workstations and laptops.


“CERN is a truly global organization and its physicists use a wide range of PC and Mac machines based on their particular requirements, creating a heterogeneous computing environment,” said Predrag Buncic, virtualization R&D project leader at CERN. “This can make it very difficult to deliver applications to all our physicists, which is why we are exploiting how virtualization technology can help as achieving these goals, With VMware Fusion, Mac users can use the exact same virtual machines - with the exact same software - on their Mac hardware as our PC users run using VMware Player.”


VMware Fusion is a stable, robust and easy to use platform, according to Buncic. “Performance levels have been impressive with VMware Fusion in the face of some particularly demanding number-crunching and modeling tasks performed by our physicists,” he said.

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