Moving MeteoSwiss’s data centre

Initial situation

With the ‘Headquarters project’ MeteoSwiss implemented the relocation of its existing headquarters in Zurich to Operation Center 1 at Zurich Airport. The aim of this major project was not only to provide an optimal workplace infrastructure for all its employees but also to move the entire IT infrastructure to the new location without interruption.
The Headquarters Project was carried in the following four parts, with the aim of better coordinating the various interdependencies.

  • 1: Construction and logistics
  • 2: Data centre and LANs and WANs
  • 3: Computer workstations, telephony and videoconferencing systems
  • 4: Work culture in the open spaces

The data centre and LANs and WANs and LANs (also called the “DC Move") –project part 2- involved the smooth relocation of all the central IT systems of MeteoSwiss to the new location while they were still operating. Various services of MeteoSwiss had to be available during the move 24|7. For this reason, these applications had to have the appropriate redundancies in order to ensure an interrupted free move. 
Initially the network infrastructure (LANs and SANs) was set up redundantly at both locations using additional components. Then the individual applications without interruption were moved in several stages to the new location. In this way, the redundancy was briefly rendered non-functional. System A was controlled and re-integrated according to the redundancy concept. After successful testing and approval, system B was under control using the same method.

In order to help set up the new data centre and physically move all the systems a certified partner in the MeteoSwiss system environment needed to be consulted. This partner was selection by invitation to tender.

Tasks of CND AG:

One of the most important tasks for the planning and construction of the new data centre and ultimately for the uninterrupted relocation of all the IT systems was the accurate and complete inventory of the current IT infrastructure.

Together with MeteoSchweiz, CND AG checked the entire IT inventory and created / updated the documentation including the connection matrix (LAN/WAN/SAN/ serial etc.), power consumption and required cooling capacity, rack space requirements and weight of each individual system.

Based on the data collected, CND AG developed an optimised rack plan for the new data centre inclusive of a concept for its power distribution and air conditioning.

CND was responsible for and in overall charge of the whole concept, the design and the detailed structure of the new data centre, which was implemented as a cold-aisle containment. 
Implementing the new data centre as a cold-aisle containment required close collaboration with both the rack and system manufacturers because, not only the design, construction and power supply of the racks, but also their customisation was required in order to convert all the systems to a cold-aisle containment.

Based on the detailed plans, documentation and scheduling created by CND AG CND AG was also responsible for all activities related to the relocation. These included specialist removal, cleaning, packaging, transporting, reinstalling, cabling and starting the system at the point of its handover to MeteoSwiss.

The assessment of MeteoSwiss:

Thanks to CND AG we have been highly successful and free of trouble throughout the operation of moving from Zürichberg to Zurich airport the following:

  • 100 physical systems and components,
  • 200 logical servers, and
  • 449 applications and services


"With CND AG, we had a professional partner in data-centre planning, construction and relocation, who was actively involved in the project and was responsible for aspects such as the planning of racks, data-centre concepts, relocation plans and physical relocation." The collaboration with the employees of CND AG was always very pleasant and constructive, and thanks to the company’s flexibility, even unforeseen situations were resolved quickly and the agreed schedule was well adhered to."

Urs Zimmermann, Project Manager of the Data Centre Relocation, MeteoSwiss