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Originally published in the December 2020 issue of the CTA Newsletter.

In this issue, we asked the CTA Observatory (CTAO) Computing team’s Information and Computing Technology (ICT) Infrastructure lead, Nadine Neyroud, about the work she is doing to prepare the CTAO’s off-site data management and storage system.

Tell us about yourself and how you came into your present role?

I am in charge of CTAO’s off-site ICT infrastructure work package. I graduated as a computing engineer when computing science was in its infancy, and I have spent more than 15 years in the computing industry, with leading technical responsibilities in well-known American companies and an international managed storage services start-up. In 2002, I joined the Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Laboratoire d’Annecy de Physique des Particules (LAPP) laboratory in France as an Information and Technology (IT) manager to create the MUST data centre. MUST is combining a shared infrastructure for the local university scientists and is part of a European Grid Initiative (EGI) node of the CTA simulation processing network, as well as one of the Worldwide Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid (WLCG) nodes to process data from the world’s largest particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva. I have been working in parallel with the CTA project on computing topics for more than eight years, with a specific focus on ICT infrastructure for the CTAO for the past four years.

What is the ICT Infrastructure and why is it important for the future users of CTAO data?

For the CTAO, the ultimate objective is to produce and distribute quality science data products. To achieve this, it takes a long chain of instruments, sites construction and software development, but nothing could be transferred from the array sites, archived, processed and disseminated to scientists without the off-site ICT infrastructure. The number of telescopes, the resulting large data volume (up to six petabytes of event data per year) and Observatory responsibilities are CTAO’s challenging parameters. My role is to design and organize the Science Data Management System implementation, which is distributed across multiple academic data centres, which are called the “Computing and Storage Service Providers,” planning the most performant, reliable, available and cost-effective solutions based on appropriate data flow and use of IT technologies.

What are you working on now?

The off-site ICT infrastructure computing model is defined, and a distributed organisation solution has been retained with multiple academic data centres to provide computing and storages services that will be operated from the CTAO’s Science Data Management Centre (SDMC) located in Zeuthen, Germany. With the CTAO Computing team and, more specifically, those in charge of the software products that will be hosted on off-site ICT infrastructures, we are working on a more detailed model and plan for the next phases of development related to deployment, integration and validation through, for example, the organisation of Technical Data Challenges with key stakeholders (i.e., scientists, software development teams and data centre technical teams).

Learn more about CTAO Computing and the Science Data Management Centre on our website.

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Q&A with Off-Site ICT Infrastructure Lead Nadine Neyroud - CTAO