Hadron Collider

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) uses a ServerCool critical cooling solution for energy savings

The LHC relies on many strategically-placed data centers across the world to process the vast amounts of data it collects. One of the key Tier 1 data centers supporting the LHC uses ServerCool products to achieve significant energy savings and to channel heat loads.

The LHC is one of the biggest scientific experiments ever. It is estimated that it will produce approximately 15 million gigabytes of data annually. To cope with the amount of material generated, CERN is collaborating with over 33 countries to operate a distributed computing and data storage infrastructure: the LHC Computing Grid (LCG). The LCG enables scientists across the world to access and analyze the data.

After initial processing, the LHC is distributed to 11 large Tier 1 computer centers strategically located around the world. These data centers make the LHC data available to over 120 Tier 2 centers, enabling scientists to access LHC material from their home country using local computer clusters or individual PCs.

The Tier 1 data center utilizing ServerCool technology is France’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics (IN2P3/CNRS) located in Lyon. ServerCool, in close collaboration with Serviware and IBM in France, designed an energy-efficient critical cooling solution for IN2P3/CNRS.

The CC-IN2P3 data center project was driven using iDataplex cabinets, selected for their greater processing capabilities. The initial heat load generated by five cabinets was 100 kW, peaking at 160 kW. ServerCool recommended a strategy using CDUs on a common secondary manifold to provide N+N redundancy to the iDataplex systems and support SNMP connectivity.

The CDUs were installed as part of a high-density computing upgrade within the existing data center. Air conditioning alone would not be able to manage such a highly-concentrated heat load. The use of iDataplex and CDU is a very effective and efficient upgrade. This pairing consumes 40% less power per kW than the existing air handling systems.