A data center shared by the University of Lorraine, Nancy-Brabois University Hospital (CHRU) and the Greater Nancy Metropolis, located in Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France, has been inaugurated.

The facility has been named the Datacenter Mutualisé Lorrain (DCML).

– University of Lorraine

The data center, located on the Jean Zay campus of the 'National Center for Scientific Research' (CNRS), has been in production since October 2023.

The facility spans 1,600 sqm (17,220 sq ft), with 700 sqm (7,535 sq ft) of IT space. The site's shared data center rooms are for use by researchers at the university, including supercomputing-type capabilities, as well as hosting its distant learning platforms. A separate area is also used for medical data from CHRU patients.

The IT capacity of the facility has not been shared, nor details of any hardware. DCD has contacted the operators for further information.

The development required €8.24m ($8.92m) in investment of which €3.26m ($3.53m) was provided by the European Union as part of the FEDER-FSE Lorraine and Vosges massif operational program 2014-2020, another €3.26m ($3.5m) by the University of Lorraine, €1.57m ($1.7m) by the university hospital and the remaining €637,000 ($689,290) by the greater metropolis.

Waste heat from the data center will be sent to the district heating network in the Greater Nancy Metropolis, which is expected to improve the energy efficiency of this data center compared to the previous one by at least 20 percent.

The building housing the data center, also known as the Apollo building, was built by architect Jean Nouvel and previously housed the documentary collection of the Institute of Scientific Information of the CNRS for close to 40 years, before being transformed as a digital storage location.

Prior to the development of the shared DCML, the three entities had separate data centers. They decided to pool their resources in June 2019 and began developing DCML not long after, with Olivier Gasser, infrastructure manager at the Greater Nancy Metropolis arguing that the move has improved the security of the data: “Rather than having an infrastructure in each municipality to protect, we will have centralized security equipment.”

At the time of the original announcement, the data center was expected to cost around €5.3m ($5.74m) and to be completed in 2022.

The data center is one of three sites that make up the Grand Est Data Center of the ESR, including that of the University of Strasbourg and the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne.