Industry meets cutting-edge research: Data centers are the focus of the Expert Summit 2022 at GSI and FAIR


Current developments and new strategies for future data center operations were the focus of the Data Center Expert Summit 2022, the expert conference for data centers in Germany, held recently at GSI/FAIR. It was organized by the eco Association of the Internet Industry in cooperation with GSI/FAIR's Technology Transfer Department. The event was also attended by the State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry for Digital Strategy and Development and CIO of the Federal State of Hesse, Patrick Burghardt, who gave the keynote speech of the conference and was welcomed by the GSI/FAIR management.

The Summit was opened by Professor Dr. Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of GSI and FAIR, and Alexander Rabe from the Eco Association of the Internet Industry. Numerous operators, planners and customers of data centers and server rooms came together to exchange ideas on forward-looking topics and to network with important players in the sector. Various strategy and technology sessions were offered to the internet industry.

The GSI/FAIR research campus in Darmstadt is an ideal location for an event on data centers: The high-performance data center Green IT Cube of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) is one of the most powerful scientific data centers in the world. It will provide enormous computing capacities for experiments at the accelerator facilities of GSI and, in the future, FAIR. The GSI/FAIR Digital Open Lab has also been established at the Green IT Cube. In this living lab (Test Data Center), computing and storage systems can be optimally tuned to an efficient cooling system with the respective application-specific requirements for performance capabilities, temporal load distributions and the like, and in different operating modes and system configurations.

The Digital Open Lab (Test Data Center) is available for industry and research partners. The offer to private and public partners includes, for example, the provision of the infrastructure and IT competences of GSI and FAIR for joint development around the topics of HPC, Big Data and ultra-fast data acquisition, including software developments and products. Access to HPC systems and projects for external partners via collaboration projects is also possible, as is an offer of services in the data center, such as the provision of rack space. The AI innovation lab currently being set up at the Hessian Center for Artificial Intelligence hessian.AI will be located at the Green IT Cube with its AI computing infrastructure. This was announced recently by the Hessian Ministry for Digital Strategy and Innovation.

At the Data Center Expert Summit 2022, Dr. Helmut Kreiser, head of the Green IT Cube, reported on the special features of the Green IT Cube and the Digital Open Lab. He explained how energy-efficient the data center is and what tasks it performs on the GSI/FAIR campus. It sets standards in IT technology and energy saving: Thanks to a special cooling system, it is particularly energy and cost efficient. The Green IT Cube cools its computers with an innovative air and water method. As a result, the energy required for cooling is less than seven percent of the electrical power used for computing, instead of 30 up to 100 percent, as is the case in conventional data centers with air-cooling. The high-performance concept has already won several awards for innovation and environmental friendliness, including the Blue Angel eco-label of the German government. (BP)

Statements on the Data Center Expert Summit 2022

Professor Dr. Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director GSI and FAIR: “We are delighted that this important data center conference with its top-class guests takes place at our facility. The Green IT Cube high-performance computing center is an outstanding example of how innovative, broadly usable developments and new cutting-edge technologies evolve out of basic research. It is an important goal for us to work together with partners from industry and business to provide new impulses for promising research and development projects”.

Patrick Burghardt, State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry for Digital Strategy and Development and CIO of the Federal State of Hesse: “High-performance computing capacities are the basis for innovative projects and products: whether in industry, agriculture, healthcare, energy supply or mobility. Data centers are the spine of digitization. Together with gigabit-capable networks and high-performance mobile networks, they provide the infrastructure and the foundation for digital transformation. Because we are aware of this, we have dedicated a separate target to data centers in the Hessian Digital Strategy. We want to strengthen the high-performance data infrastructures in Hesse and develop them into a pioneer in the field of energy-efficient, sustainable data centers and green IT, so that the Hessian data ecosystem can develop its enormous application potential in a fruitful way. With the Hessian Data Center Office and in contact with the data center operators and the municipalities we want to contribute to ensuring that innovative sustainable solutions secure the progress and future of Hesse as a business location”.

Further Information

High-performance computing center Green IT Cube

GSI/FAIR Digital Open Lab

eco Association of the Internet Industry