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Data center CCT-DC2020#

Until recently, EPFL possessed two main data centers, located in INJ and MA. All the SCITAS infrastructure was principally hosted in the INJ data center.

Since May 2022, EPFL is equipped with a third data center (DC), thus complementing the two others. The new CCT-DC is built on top of the recently renewed heating room (CCT) of EPFL. The new building is totally covered with photovoltaic panels that are able to produce up to 170kW of electrical power. Furthermore, the heat pumps have been modernized and are now able to produce 4MW of heating power, used throughout the EPFL buildings. These pumps are connected to a pumping system that pumps water from the Leman lake at a depth of 75m. This water is pumped with a constant temperature of 7°C and is heated by the pumps at a temperature of 67°C.

The data center itself has a surface of around 1000m2 and is able to host 200 water-cooled racks (16 of them are used by UNIL). The hot water coming out of the racks can be exploited by the heat pumps, which are able to extract up to 4MW of heat from it. With this system, 80% of the heat generated by the servers can be reused to heat the EPFL buildings. This also makes the data center particularly efficient since it has a PUE of around 1.1. The PUE, or power usage effectiveness, is the ratio between the energy used by the total facility to the energy used by the supercomputers. In our case, it means that for every 1 unit of energy consumed by the machines, only 0.1 unit is necessary for the external equipment such as cooling, lights, etc.

Currently, only the Jed supercomputer is hosted at the CCT-DC. In the future, all the new SCITAS infrastructure will installed there.

Last update: March 10, 2023