eBay Datacenter gets LEED Gold Certification

eBay Datacenter gets LEED Gold Certification

Summary: eBay's latest datacenter is only the fourth in the country to achieve LEED Gold certification


There are lots of complex metrics that datacenter operators and equipment vendors use to justify the cost of uptime. These metrics are usually based on lost productivity and general valuation of how much business is done on an annual basis.  But eBay has a much more easily defined metric; every second of every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, they average $2000 in transactions on their worldwide sites.

This makes the cost of downtime not only incredibly expensive but also instantly noticeable at the bottom line. So you would expect eBay to be exceptionally conservative in their choices relating to their back-end operations. But this hasn't been the case, as eBay has been extremely aggressive in utilizing green technologies with the construction and operation of their latest datacenter. An effort that has culminated with the LEED Gold award presented to the facility last week.

The green features that eBay has highlighted about this latest datacenter include:

  • The collection of rainwater to offset city water use
  • The ability to use low outside air temperatures to reduce electrical costs for cooling our servers
  • The use of low emitting materials throughout construction
  • The use of over 20% recycled and regional building materials in the facility construction
  • The use of a chemical free water treatment system
  • Best practice heating ventilation design for office space comfort

They've also elected to use 400V power distribution in their datacenter which increases power supply efficiency and removes a layer of transformers that would otherwise be required. But the unsung hereo in the datacenter is the management side.  With the way that eBay has instrumented the datacenter they collect information over the entire ecosystem (over 200,000 measurement points)  multiple times per second and maintain an adaptive, proactive management scheme that optimizes the efficiency of their datacenter.

The management value can't be understated; power management systems in the datacenter are a rapidly growing market share because they are an absolute requirement for the best possible datacenter operation.

Topics: E-Commerce, Data Centers, Hardware, Storage

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  • RE: eBay Datacenter gets LEED Gold Certification

    Ben, This demostrate the hard work and investment required to get a Leed certification an a Data Center. People some times don't realize all the engineering efforts, customer commitment and money required to achieve this goal in behalf of environmental health.
  • I came up with outside air cooling in 6th grade

    Back in middle school our science teacher asked us to do a project on saving energy in the home. I was obsessed. Door hinges with dynamos to generate electricity, recycling heat from appliances in the winter, and my favorite that I pine for to this day: outside cooling.

    Why should I have to pay to refrigerate my food from December through March? Outside does that for free. Seriously, people act like these things are a big deal, but why aren't they more widely applied? As a kid my mom always yelled at me in the summer too: "why are we running the dryer and the air conditioner? Dry your clothes outside or I am turning the AC off."

    It just makes sense.

    Good work eBay, way to notice that free energy is...free.