Green IT Cube: supercomputing center for GSI and FAIR

The "Green IT Cube" on the GSI/FAIR campus is one of the most powerful scientific data centers in the world. At the same time, it sets standards in IT technology and energy saving: Thanks to a special cooling system, it is particularly energy and cost efficient. Instead of air, the computers are cooled with water. As a result, the energy used for cooling corresponds to less than seven percent of the electrical power used for computing. In conventional data centers with air cooling, this ratio is 30 to 100 percent. The innovative cooling system also enables a compact and thus space-saving design. Scientists use the "Green IT Cube" at GSI and FAIR to perform simulations and develop detectors for FAIR. They also evaluate measurement data from experiments at the accelerator facilities of GSI and FAIR.

Construction time

  • 1 year (December 2014 to November 2015)
  • Commissioning: January 2016


  • Construction costs: around €12 million
  • Investment costs in final construction: €21 million


  • Main building: footprint 27 meters x 30 meters, height 22 meters
  • Supply building: floor area 27 meters x 13 meters, height 7 meters
  • Levels: 6

Maximum number of racks

  • 768 racks a 2.2 meter height

Cooling system

  • Waste heat utilization for heating an office and canteen building
  • Cooling capacity 4 megawatts every two levels (final capacity 12 megawatts)
  • pumping capacity 1150 cubic meters per hour
  • less than 7% of electrical power for cooling (PUE<1.07)
  • water cooling in doors of computer cabinets
  • no room air cooling necessary, allows spatially dense "high-bay storage" stacking


  • Blue Angel eco-label from the German government (2020 / Recertification 2024)
  • Green IT Cube: Datacloud Enterprise Datacentre Award 2015
  • L-CSC: Green500, 3rd place (as of November 2015)
  • Green IT Cube: DataCenterDynamics Awards 2013
    • 1st prize Data Center Blueprints
    • 2nd prize Leadership in the Public Sector
    • 2nd prize Innovation in IT Optimization
  • Data center/computer concept: Green IT Best Practice Award 2011


  • Three-dimensional, spanning over two levels, for short transmission paths

Data transmission FAIR expansion

  • Greater than 1 terabyte per second

Computing cores (July 2023)

  • approx. 600 nodes / 54,000 cores
  • 400 GPUs

Storage capacities (July 2023)

  • 60 petabyte
  • Magnetic tape robot with 62 petabyte (4,280 tape slots)
  • FAIR expansion: in total 250 petabyte

More information at the group Data Center

EU funding

The Green IT Cube was  further expanded to make the improved infrastructure available to scientists and industrial partners, as in the framework of the GSI/FAIR Digital Open Lab.

This project was financed with grants from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the reaction of the union to the COVID-19 pandemic (REACT-EU).