State-of-the-art technology for an extended computing centre

On 7 May, CERN’s Director-General, Rolf Heuer, the Director for Research and Computing, Sergio Bertolucci, the EN Department Head, Roberto Saban, and several guests joined the IT Department Head, Frédéric Hemmer, for the inauguration of the new facilities at the CERN Computing Centre.


One of the new ventilation units and a big duct,
installed as part of the Computing Centre consolidation project.

After nearly two years of work, the IT Department now boasts a new computer room, equipped with its own cooling system to house the Computing Centre’s critical IT systems, which can, from now on, be decoupled from the other systems in the building. New electrical facilities have been added too, boosting the Centre’s computing power from 2.9 to 3.5 MW. Finally, an additional 40 cubic-metre water tank has been installed to allow continued cooling of the IT systems in the event of a major incident.

But the star attraction of the extension project has to be the new computing room itself. With a surface area of 200 m2, the room is equipped with 90 racks capable of supporting up to 450 kW of IT equipment. These state-of-the-art new devices, known as “passive racks”, are water-cooled to ensure more effective and reliable cooling in the event of a power cut. Similarly, if the mains power fails, the servers in the new room will continue to receive power from uninterruptible power supplies and then from diesel generators (if the outage persists).

For more information, read Andrew Purcell's article "CERN Data Centre expands" published on 8 May.

by Anaïs Schaeffer