DESY's computing infrastructure also includes the National Analysis Facility NAF, a computing complex that is available to particle physicists in Germany for the analysis of LHC data and the preparations for the planned International Linear Collider ILC.
The computing complex NAF at DESY was set up in the context of the Helmholtz Alliance “Physics at the Terascale”. It is closely linked to the Tier-2 centre of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) at DESY and provides computer resources for physics analysis to all Alliance members. Indeed, it is not always necessary to run the calculations for the data analysis on the worldwide grid. If the scientists want to try out new ideas for algorithms and computer processes, for example, they can usually accomplish this faster and much more easily on a smaller computer architecture. This is the purpose of the NAF at DESY.
Computer resources for German particle physicists
The NAF offers particle physicists in Germany fast, interactive access to experiment data and additional resources to analyse these data. If necessary, NAF contact persons also provide support, especially to young scientists. The high demand among non-DESY users proves the success of the concept: Only about 25 percent of NAF users come from DESY itself, around 75 percent from other German institutes.
In 2007, the establishment of the Helmholtz Alliance “Physics at the Terascale” created a unique Germany-wide scientific network. The Alliance focuses the activities of all the particle physicists who conduct research at the LHC accelerator in Geneva and work on plans for the future linear collider ILC. The Alliance partners are DESY, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Max Planck Institute for Physics and 18 German universities. The Alliance supports the development of new technologies, assists with the analysis of the complex LHC data and promotes young scientists. DESY serves as the central hub of the Alliance.