Our history

CERN PHOTOWALK 2010 - Computer Centre - Yousef Elbes
(Image: CERN)


Our history

Our History

Since its foundation in 2001, CERN openlab has run in successive three-year phases.

In the first phase (2003–2005), the focus was on the development of an advanced computing-cluster prototype called the “opencluster”. The second phase (2006–2008) addressed a wider range of domains. The combined knowledge and dedication of the engineers from CERN and the collaborating companies produced exceptional results, leading to significant innovation in areas such as energy-efficient computing, grid interoperability, and network security. CERN openlab’s third phase (2009-2011) capitalised and extended upon the successful work carried out in the second phase. New projects were added focusing on virtualisation of industrial-control systems and investigation of the then-emerging 64-bit computing architectures. Find out more about CERN openlab’s first three phases.

The fourth phase (2012-2014) addressed new topics crucial to the CERN scientific programme, such as cloud computing, business analytics, next-generation hardware, and security for the ever-growing number of networked devices. The fifth phase (2015-2017) tackled ambitious challenges covering the most critical needs of ICT infrastructures in domains such as data acquisition, computing platforms, data-storage architectures, compute provisioning and management, networks and communication, and data analytics. It also saw other research institutes join CERN openlab for the first time. Find out more about the fourth and fifth phases.

CERN openlab’s sixth phase (2018-2020) tackled challenges related to data-centre technologies and infrastructures, computing performance and software, machine learning and data analytics, and — for the first time — quantum computing. Find out more about the sixth phase here.

The current three-year phase (2021-2023) addresses the challenges set out in the research section of this website.