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eBay Unveils $287M, Energy-Saving Data Center in Utah

eBay’s new $287-million Topaz data center in Utah is now officially open, housing the company’s core businesses —  ebay.com and PayPal.com. The data center is 50 percent less expensive to operate than the average of all other data centers eBay leases thanks to many energy-efficiency features including a power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.4.

The data center is a 240,000-square-foot two-story building with three 20,000 square-foot rooms to house IT equipment — one for eBay Marketplace, one for PayPal and the remaining IT room for further consolidation work.

Dean Nelson, eBay’s senior director of Global Data Center Strategy told DataCenter Knowledge that it is a fault tolerant Tier IV level data center that is also 30 percent more efficient than the most efficient data center in its portfolio. “At a designed PUE of 1.4, it lowers both our economical and ecological costs. We only consume the energy we need, when we need it.”

Nelson shared project details and photos in a blog post at Data Center Pulse.

Here are some energy-efficiency details of the new data center.

eBay is using 400-V power distribution, which eliminates an entire level of transformers and delivers 230V to the servers, saving 2 percent in power costs.

The data center is cooled using a water-side economizer system, which is supported by a 400,000 gallon cistern that collects rain water. eBay expects to use outside air to cool the data center for more than half the year.

eBay is also using in-row cooling units for close-coupled cooling, and a hot air containment system to isolate the hot and cold air within the server area. eBay says it can support power densities of up to 30kw per rack using this design.

The company expects to earn Gold-level certification for the facility under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for energy-efficient buildings.

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3 thoughts on “eBay Unveils $287M, Energy-Saving Data Center in Utah

  1. Is this the new data center that still cannot handle the extra load created by the insane dumping of all un-indexed store items into core, to the detriment of many (all?) sellers and probably eBay itself? Good onya John, you’ve done it again …

    And, for anyone seriously interested in the deviousness of eBay’s executive management 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 PayPal horror stories thrown in for good measure) can be found at

    eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

  2. Yes,
    But what many ebayers would like to know is all of ebays listings ebing served from there.

    And can Topaz handle the 110 million items that ebay now has, without resorting to rolling blackouts.

  3. With that amount of server power running, I hope eBay considers energy saving and environmental issues a top priority. Siting is definitely one of the most important factors that affect the energy consumption and environmental effects of a server farm. There are places with cooler climates than in the continental US and with more green electricity available. I would recommend anybody considering siting a datacenter to take a look at the Finnish website on these issues: http://www.fincloud.freehostingcloud.com/

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