The LHC computing grid was launched in 2002 as a project to provide the computing resources to cope with the 15 Petabytes (15 million Gigabytes) of annual data coming from the LHC particle accelerator at CERN.
A while ago Nature.com had a nice article about the LHC computing grid. A PDF-file with the article can be downloaded here. It’s of course a bit superficial but rather interesting read anyway.
The photo to the left is a partial shot of one of the computer center floors and is taken from one of our conference rooms. My office is on the floor right above.
The entire center is cooled with forced air. Should it fail, then the temperature will rise at a rate of 1 degree per second.