eBay's new datacenter blossoms in the desert

Well, actually, it Bloom's

eBay’s newest datacenter, it’s uber-green South Jordan, UT facility, officially opened this week. In a time when people are looking for cool climes and out of the way places to put their datacenter, eBay’s new datacenter finds itself in a desert location where the average high might reach well into the 90’s but where the same day low will be in the 60’s and winter temps can drop into the 20’s. This basically cool climate will be one of the reasons that eBay expects an ongoing PUE of about 1.2

The site is also using on-site power generation in two ways. The first, which has received the bulk of the publicity prior to the opening, is the incorporation of Bloom energy fuel cells as a primary power source. This is a significant installation of the fuel cell technology with 30 of the devices on site. eBay’s not the first major customer of Bloom, but is one of the few committing to datacenter power with a primarily fuel-cell driven component.

The more unique energy source is the plan to use a facility that converts the waste heat from the pipeline that delivers the natural gas to the eBay facility. A company called Ormat Technologies is building a 5 MW waste heat recovery plant that eBay expects to be fully operational in early 2015. The heat isn’t being generated by the datacenter; it is actually being created by the pumping station that pushes the gas through the 20 miles of pipeline to the eBay site.

The datacenter itself uses a combination of standard rack-mount servers in data halls and modular containers from both HP and Dell.