CERN servers donated to Ghana

Cutting-edge research requires a constantly high performance of the computing equipment. At the CERN Computing Centre, computers typically need to be replaced after about four years of use. However, while servers may be withdrawn from cutting-edge use, they are still good for other uses elsewhere. This week, 220 servers and 30 routers were donated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana.


“KNUST will provide a good home for these computers. The university has also developed a plan for using them to develop scientific collaboration with CERN,” said John Ellis, a professor at King’s College London and a visiting professor in CERN’s Theory Group.  John Ellis was heavily involved in building the relationship with Ghana, which started in 2006 when a Ghanaian participated in the CERN openlab student programme. Since 2007 CERN has hosted Ghanaians especially from KNUST in the framework of the CERN Summer Student Programme, High School Teacher programme and recently as Scientific Associates. Moreover, KNUST hosted the African School of Physics 2012, an event that was strongly supported by CERN. “We are really excited because it’s a dream that has really come true,” said I. K. Dontwi, Director of the National Institute for Mathematical Sciences at KNUST.  “Many scientists across many disciplines especially within Ghana have yearned over the years to have a local computing grid node that would allow them to do real science but many African countries lack the basic research infrastructure they need to be able to participate in the world of science. The facilities we are receiving today will help to remedy this situation. For us it is a very good step in the right direction. ”

200 servers will be installed at KNUST and will exploit GRID technology for research purposes; the remaining 20 units will be used for 10 new digital libraries (each with 2 servers) at 10 different interconnected sites (universities and research centres) in Ghana.


Prof. I. K. Dontwi, Director of the National Institute for Mathematical Sciences at KNUST and CERN DG Rolf Heuer seeing off the servers on the beginning of their journey to Ghana.

by CERN Bulletin