eBay Sets a Realistic Goal for their New Datacenter

eBay Sets a Realistic Goal for their New Datacenter

Summary: With companies talking about their goals for datacenter energy efficiency for their new datacenters that push the limits of technology, eBay steps back and delivers on a practical goal with major energy (and money) savings in their newly opened facility


Many businesses like to talk about the energy efficiencies of their datacenters, but it is really rare that someone gives real details of what they've done to actually hit the energy efficiency goals. Major vendors of datacenter hardware are always willing to talk about the wonderful achievements they've made with their new datacenters and how energy efficient everything is, but given that it's coming from the vendors of the hardware, we generally need to take their claims with a grain of salt. Other vendors, building big datacenters, often consider details of these projects as trade secrets and talk about them in only the broadest terms.

But with eBay's announcement of their new datacenter, covered today in detail by Heather Clancy, eBay's Dean Nelson, Sr. Dir., Global Datacenter Strategy, makes a very upfront statement that eBay built this new datacenter with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating goal of 1.4. In these days of press announcements from companies announcing their new datacenter plans with PUE targets of 1, the realistic goals set by eBay, and the ability to achieve that goal is important for the datacenter business.

With power being their biggest operational cost, eBay believes they will achieve a 30% improvement in efficiency over their previous datacenters, a number that goes a long way towards justifying the $287 million cost of the new facility.  But most importantly, eBay got this improvement, it seems, not by using any secret squirrel proprietary technologies, but by proper design and the implementation of proven technologies, ranging from in-row cooling, to hot aisles, to taking advantage of local environmental conditions. On-demand power and cooling management software ties together all of these pieces into a single, energy efficient datacenter implementation.

eBay built the datacenter that met their needs of high-availability and high redundancy, with a practical target goal for energy efficiency, left themselves room for growth and for the implementation of new technologies, and did it quickly and efficiently without feeling the need to take any risks on proprietary technologies (which make sense when you realize that with transactions worth, on the average $2000 happening every second of every day "risk adverse" is a motto). 

The most important take-away from this, if I may quote Dean's blog, is "The point is you can be resilient, efficient and cost effective if you set your mind to it from the beginning."

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

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  • RE: eBay Sets a Realistic Goal for their New Datacenter

    "eBay Sets a Realistic Goal for their New Datacenter"

    Is that the data center that currently cannot cope with the additional load created by Donahoe's idiotic decision to dump store items into core, to the severe detriment of most sellers and probably eBay itself? Good onya John, you've done it again (and again, and again ...).

    Draft Media Release?Confidential

    It is with great sadness that ?Noise? Donahoe (aka ?Peter Principle?), eBay?s Chief Headless Turkey, announces the probable demise of eBay?s most ugly daughter, PayPal. PayPal is about to be stricken by a particularly virulent strain of Visa CyberSource, accompanied by insurmountable financial institutions complications and merchant dissatisfaction. PayPal?s health may therefore be expected to deteriorate and, if ultimately not completely incapacitated, will most likely be eventually confined to what little there is by then left of the Donahoe-devastated eBay Marketplaces. There is no cure this condition, and the ?eBafia Don? is particularly saddened by the inevitable presumption that it is unlikely that PayPal will be able to continue to underpin eBay?s bottom line in the future.

    A detailed examination of and prognosis for PayPal at

    And, for anyone interested in eBay?s deviousness generally, and in particular eBay?s demonstrable and deliberate criminal facilitation of the rampant shill bidding fraud being perpetrated by many unscrupulous professional sellers on buyers, particularly on nominal-start auctions, an introduction thereto (along with some good PayPal horror stories thrown in for good measure) can be found at

    A practical observation on the risks of stupidity was made by the German General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord in ?Truppenf?hrung?, 1933: ?I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!?

    Clearly, the Stanford-trained and Bain & Co-matured fool, ?Noise? Donahoe, and his gaggle of gobbling sycophantic fellow headless turkeys fall into this last group, and should be ?removed immediately?, before they can complete the total destruction of the eBay Marketplace?although I suspect that by now the poor patient has been mortally wounded by the head quack?s clearly insane and criminal policies and totally incompetent case management.

    eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking
    Philip Cohen
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  • RE: eBay Sets a Realistic Goal for their New Datacenter

    Good article!
    Learning a lot.
  • RE: eBay Sets a Realistic Goal for their New Datacenter

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