CERN is the hub of vast global computing resources and collaborations, representing a considerable potential in the fight against COVID-19, with applications ranging from the support of therapy and vaccine research to the deployment of the data-sharing platform Zenodo, and from online educational platform tools to epidemic modelling.
As a first response to the pandemic, the particle physics community mobilised its number-crunching capabilities, allocating processors from the data centres of CERN, the LHC experiments and the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid to support volunteer computing initiatives such as Rosetta@home and Folding@home, which simulate protein dynamics to help understand the SARS-CoV-2 virus. With the pandemic worsening, the number of voluntary contributions to the distributed computing project rapidly increased and the joint processing capacity of the initiatives grew to exceed several exaFLOPS: a world first. In such a supportive environment, CERN and the particle physics community realised that the time had come to make a gradual transition from dedicating computer cores to such initiatives to contributing to them in more specific ways, through data management and data analytics expertise, as well as through software resources.
Read the full article on the CERN against COVID-19 website: againstcovid19.cern/articles/cern-and-lhc-experiments-computing-resources-global-research-effort-against-covid-19.