eBay Hires Sun’s Green Datacentre Guru

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eBay’s massive data centre in Utah gets a new hand on the green tiller

Online sales company eBay has hired energy efficiency guru Dean Nelson from Sun Micrososytems, to complete the company’s “gold standard” green data centre in Utah.

As Sun’s global design director for data centres, Nelson turned the server maker’s data centres into a showcase for good energy practice, and founded Data Centre Pulse, an industry body for end-users to share those ideas.

Now, as eBay’s senior director of global data centre strategy, he’ll be leading the effort to get a LEED Gold Standard for eBay’s massive new data centre in Salt Lake City, Utah. He’ll take over the job from Olivier Sanche, who has already established eBay’s credentials and is taking his green data centre expertise to Apple.

Nelson – who spoke to eWEEK earlier this year – made contact with eBa two years ago, according to Nelson’s blog, when eBay asked Sun for advice – even though Sun did not run a data centre building service at that time.

“Eighty-six people (I counted) from the different lines of business at eBay toured our datacenter,” said Nelson. “We also spun up design working sessions and additional information sharing to help.”

But he admits the job change was also linked to Oracle’s pending purchase of Sun, currently delayed by EC concerns. Sun was able to provide him with exciting work, “but with uncertainty, I also believed it was prudent to see what options were out there.”


With 88 million active users, eBay has a massive need for processing financial transactions – the majority of which go through eBay’s Paypal subsidiary. “What resonated with me, was that their business lives and dies on the performance of their datacenters,” said Nelson. “They are the epitome of Moore’s law.”

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