New Data Facility in Switzerland

A new data centre was recently unveiled at CERN’s Prévessin site in France on 23 February 2024. This marks a significant milestone in the organization’s computing strategy. The expansive facility spans over 6,000 square meters and features 6 rooms dedicated to IT equipment, each with a cooling capacity of 2 MW. The centre will house CPU servers for physics data processing, as well as additional capacity for BC and DR scenarios.

With data production from experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) rapidly increasing to around 45PB per week, the need for enhanced computing capabilities is crucial. The new data centre will play a vital role in meeting these demands, complementing CERN’s main data centre in Meyrin, Switzerland. The data generated is integral to the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid, a global collaboration of data centres supporting cutting-edge research.

Constructed in under 2 years, the new data centre prioritizes environmental sustainability. Equipped with an efficient heat-recovery system, the centre will aid in heating buildings on the Prévessin site. Energy efficiency is a key focus, with a target PUE of 1.1 and a WUE target of 0.379 liters per kWh, achieved through innovative water recycling systems and temperature control measures.

Operated under a FIDIC Gold Book contract, the new data centre is designed for long-term financial sustainability. Plans are in place to gradually equip the IT rooms with up to 78 racks each over the next decade. This state-of-the-art facility underscores CERN’s commitment to advancing research and innovation in the field of high-energy physics.