blair1q writes "Using a 5-tiered architecture (from CERN's central computer at Tier 0 to individual scientists' desk/lap/palmtops at Tier 5), CERN is distributing LHC data and computation across resources worldwide to achieve aggregate computational power unprecedented in high-energy physics research. As an example, "researchers can sit at their laptops, write small programs or macros, submit the programs through the AliEn system, find the necessary ALICE data on AliEn servers and then run their jobs" on upper-tier systems. The full grid comprises small computers, supercomputers, compute clusters, and mass-storage data centers. This system allows 1,000 researchers at 130 organizations in 34 countries to crunch the data, which are disgorged at a rate of 1.25 GB per second from the LHC's detectors."
Link to Original Source