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February 19th 2019

ASTRON makes the first step towards its Science Data Centre in d’ Root, the new data competence centre of Bytesnet
ASTRON, the Netherlands institute for radio astronomy, has made an important step towards the location of its Science Data Centre. It will be located in d' Root, the data competence centre of Bytesnet that is currently under construction. On Wednesday 23 May 2018, ASTRON’s managing director Marco de Vos and Bytesnet CEO Peter de Jong signed the agreement.

D' Root is being built on the Zernike Campus in Groningen and is almost ready. The official opening is planned for October. A month later ASTRON, which is located in Dwingeloo, will move in to the office and project space at the facility as well as part of the Datalab. Data scientists from the institute will receive a workplace there and will focus, amongst other things on, data science for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the largest radio telescope in the world that is being built in Western Australia and South Africa and in which ASTRON is playing a leading role.

Data for research
ASTRON is investing in its Science Data Centre to cope with the growing demand for the rapid processing of large quantities of data. The size of the data that researchers collect and process is growing rapidly. That makes it increasingly difficult to distribute the data to researchers in a timely and secure manner, explains Marco de Vos.
The solution is to move the researchers to the data and to encourage collaboration between research groups, innovative companies and knowledge institutions. The Datalab in d' Root offers good possibilities for this. ASTRON is therefore pleased with this collaboration. Companies and researchers can use the facilities on a project basis.

High-performance computing
D' Root is an initiative of Bytesnet, an independent Dutch provider of data centre services in Groningen and Rotterdam. The sensational, futuristic and inviting data competence centre is currently being realised at the Zernike Campus in Groningen. The centre will soon include facilities for high-performance computing: special computers with considerable processing power. These are needed, for example, for scientific research and the processing of big data. 
The Datalab provides work, presentation, research and test spaces that will soon be available for a diverse range of clients and partners of Bytesnet, which include various knowledge institutions and innovative workplaces from the region.

Zernike Campus
With the Zernike Campus Groningen has a fertile breeding ground for research, development and innovation. The University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences are the driving forces behind this initiative that accommodates various specialised innovation labs and hundreds of related companies. Consequently, there is also a large potential pool of data scientists for who ASTRON could be an interesting employer.

Strengthening its position
"Bytesnet supports ASTRON's ambition to strengthen its internationally recognised position in data science in the field of astronomy,' says CEO Peter de Jong. "We take time, money, space and resources into account to help realise this in our Datalab. Our ambitions seamlessly match this: optimal availability of data centre services, high-performance computing and making the data storage related to this available in a secure manner."