LHC produces huge amounts of data at lighting speeds and had the project gave birth to one of the biggest computer grids on the planet. The output from the collisions that occur in the LHC is fed into the grid to be stored for later analysis.
"LHC uses only 10-15 percent of the total CPU power dedicated to the data", said CERN's Wolfgang von Rueden. "LHC produces too much data that we can possibly store, so removing unnecessary data is most important", he said. LHC has about 2,000 CPUs at each of the four detectors which filter interesting collisions out.
The networks at LHC are extremely fast. The CPU's help filter the data which reduces it from 1 Petabyte (PB) a second to a GigaByte per second which is transferred from the detectors to the main facility via a dedicated 10Gbps connection. Once the data is transferred it is stored on tape storage. "We have about 50PB of tape storage and is handled by a set of robotic storage hardware". He said that the disk was almost full and they had recently scaled up to another 20 PB. Mind you 1 Petabyte = 1,000,000 Gigabytes!
The sad thing is, that's only about 1/10th of all the porn that's out there right now.
And... it just became 1/15th
Still.. impressive nonetheless, albeit terrifying.