The Central Department of Information Services and Computing is the service, competence and coordination centre for the entire IT of all HZDR locations. It operates the Infrastructure (data centres and networks), the Scientific Library, the Application and User Services and supports the scientists in the field of Computational Science.

Head: Dr. Uwe Konrad

FWC Info - February 2022

The Central Department of Information Services and Computing provides information on current activities from the past few months. In the February newsletter, in addition to a look at the departments, there is a special on HIFIS.

HIFIS: Digital Services for Helmholtz & Partner

With HIFIS and the four other incubator platforms (HIDA, HIP, HMC and Helmholtz AI), the Helmholtz Association is pursuing the goal of bringing together the enormous data treasures and the diverse, distributed expertise of the 18 research centers.

HIFIS supports scientific projects with IT resources, services, consulting and expertise from the collection, storage, linking and analysis of research data - to the publication of the results. Particular focus is also placed on the topic of research software development.

Foto: HIFIS Illustration ©Copyright: Lorna Schütte

With the help of HIFIS, isolated solutions will be transformed into central collaboration services for science and infrastructure. science and infrastructure, which are offered in the Helmholtz Cloud. We at HZDR also act as a service provider and provide two of the currently most used services - GitLab and Mattermost. As of today, the Helmholtz Cloud portfolio already includes 20 services, and growing. A selection:

Through the provision of a Helmholtz-wide internationally accessible authentication and authorization infrastructure (Helmholtz AAI) the login to all services is done with the known access data from the HZDR. With single sign-on (SSO), it will be possible to combine several services into meta-services in the future. In this central login, the Helmholtz AAI, 6.500 registrations were recorded as of 1.1.2022, tendency increasing.

HIFIS sustainably protects sensitive data by storing and processing it in Helmholtz-owned data centers. The data thus remains within the German research landscape and is available to future generations of researchers without restriction. At the same time, the user saves time in both searching and storing the data.

HIFIS and Research Software Development (RSE)

Today, there is hardly a scientific project that can be done without the support of scientific software. Be it software packages developed in-house or third-party applications which are used for the acquisition of scientific knowledge - the quality, traceability, and reproducibility of these components depend to a large extent on those software packages. HIFIS therefore supports research software development with a wide range of services.

HIFIS Education & Training is aimed at employees who are looking for further training in the field of research software development. Both entry-level and advanced courses are available. Last year, 668 participants were trained in 36 different events. Special courses can also be requested. Are you interested in e-learning? All course offerings are available at

HIFIS Consulting is an individual and free offer for all researchers of the Helmholtz Association. We will help you with a broad range of topics around research software engineering, be it the topic of open source, licensing or questions about the implementation of new or existing software projects. Just answer a few questions about the project and the problem and the HIFIS-Consulting team will get back to you promptly. Further information via

Use HIFIS offers for your daily work, for projects within the HZDR and beyond. (je, th)

Foto: Logo von HIFIS - Helmholtz Federated IT Services ©Copyright: HIFIS - Helmholtz Federated IT Services

Helmholtz Digital Services for Science -
Collaboration made easy.

IT Security

Following the attack by a Trojan in March 2021, extensive measures were implemented to better protect the systems. This includes features in the firewalls and endpoint protection systems, restructuring of domains, and isolation of all clients and servers with outdated operating systems. We are currently working on 2-factor authentication for centralized services and mobile work, as well as training. (rg, uk)

User Service

Introduction of a Unified Endpoint Management - The way of working in many areas has changed significantly due to the increasing number and variety of end devices used as well as the increase in home office offerings. Against this background, a unified endpoint management solution was introduced at the HZDR, with which the wide range of end devices can be managed and controlled via a central platform. With Desktop Central, recurring tasks in desktop management can be such as checking and installing patches, distributing new software or setting up preferences can be automated. Administrators can use remote access capabilities to manage devices. The system helps improve efficiency and availability as well as reduce vulnerabilities. (or)
Contact: Olaf Ruddigkeit

Library News

The Primo research portal has been online since December 2021 with a new user interface. In addition to improved features such as a more clearly arranged watch list and extensive possibilities for integration into literature management programs, Primo can also be used on mobile devices in a responsive design.

An application submitted by the library to the DFG LIS funding program "Open Access Publication Costs" - has been approved. This will allow 183 HZDR open access (OA) articles to be financially supported with 700€ each over the period 2022-2024. Eligible for funding are research articles that are quality-assured and published in open access for a fee. Find out more about the possibilities of OA-publishing on our websites or contact us directly. (jg)
Contact: Kerstin Henrion, Jürgen Grzondziel, Maik Fiedler.

Application Services

One focus of activities is the projects of the Administration 4.0 program. An initial success in the program was achieved at the end of January 2022: the productive implementation of the integration of the facility management system with the document management system. This direct integration means that documents relating to buildings and facilities can be stored and retrieved in the digital archive. With the go-live, an up-to-date d.3 web access was also published, which is available immediately for all application areas of the DMS. (ar)
Contact: Andreas Rex


New data center - After detailed planning and extensive work in the construction field, construction of the new data center started at the end of 2021. In addition to the server room, the compact 2-story building will house a tape library room and extensive technical installations. Furthermore, the helpdesk and print center will be located in the new data center. The electrical connected load will be more than 1 MW in the final stage of construction. With the structural work now complete, the new data center is taking shape and, together with the office building being built directly next to it, will provide a modern working environment and infrastructure from the end of 2023.

Foto: Virtuelle Außenansicht des sich im Bau befindlichen neuen Rechenzentrums. ©Copyright: Dr. Uwe Konrad

Virtual outside view of the new data center under construction.

GPU Service - With the help of the Helmholtz AAI it is possible to provide our partners within the Helmholtz community with access to dedicated HIFIS GPU services at the HZDR. For this purpose, two compute nodes with 4 Nvidia A100 GPUs each are available in the hemera HPC cluster. These can be used for arbitrary GPU computational jobs by means of Jupyter notebooks and gives users the possibility to develop and test simulations and data analysis on GPUs. (hs).

Contact: Dr. Henrik Schulz

Computational Science

ML@HZDR Symposium - On Dec. 6, 2021, about 100 HZDR members met for a full-day symposium to exchange ideas on the use of modern artificial intelligence (AI) methods and machine learning. In addition to a presentation of the application areas of these data-driven methods, the main focus was on an intensive exchange about the different techniques. It became apparent that joint methodological working groups are forming at the center and beyond across the research areas, which support each other in the use of certain methods and also drive AI research at the HZDR. The Helmholtz AI Consulting Group at HZDR is taking up this impulse and plans to hold a series of methodological workshops in 2022 together with the Helmholtz AI Network. (gj)

Contact: Dr. Peter Steinbach, Dr. Guido Juckeland