SARA was founded in 1971 under the name Stichting Academisch Rekencentrum Amsterdam by the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) and the stichting Mathematisch Centrum (now Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica). Initially SARA’s work focussed on data processing activities for the three founders.
Over time the services were extended and other universities and research institutes started to use the SARA services. Our services were no longer limited solely to data processing, but also included computing cycles on supercomputers, data storage, networking and visualization.
Since 1984, with the arrival of the Cyber 205, SARA has the role of national supercomputing center for scientific research and education in the Netherlands. As from then, the supercomputing services rapidly grew. Over the years, the computing power of supercomputers has increased and the services were extended to more scientific areas. In 1995, SARA became independent.
With effect from 1 January 2013, SARA (from then on ‘SURFsara’) forms part of the SURF Foundation. The merger creates an accessible and integrated e-Infrastructure for higher education and research that can be effective in achieving a wide variety of social and economic objectives.