eBay Inc. recently unveiled its data center of the future, built by DPR Construction.
This data center features a revolutionary power design; in lieu of the traditional diesel generators and UPS units, it employs Bloom Energy fuel cells powered by natural gas. The "Bloom Boxes" use solid oxide fuel cell technology, converting fuel to electricity through an electro-chemical reaction, without any combustion. According to eBay Inc.’s Dean Nelson, the new design is not only more sustainable and efficient, but also more reliable. The radical design frees eBay Inc. from the reliance on expensive equipment that is rarely used for those “just in case” moments when backup power is needed. Thirty (30) Bloom Boxes are the primary power source for the entire IT load, using the local utility grid for backup. According to Bloom Energy, eBay Inc.’s data center is the first facility of its kind in the world to use Bloom Boxes in this way.
The data center also features advances in modularity, allowing for high-density of servers. eBay Inc. collaborated with Dell and Hewlett-Packard to design the world’s densest modular design¹ and largest single-deployment² ever.
Built next to an existing, live data center that utilizes a traditional power and structure design, the new data center addition has broken the mold. The project included the build-out of white space, a spine building, and site work to support two modular data centers and 6MW of initial power.
All photos courtesy of eBay Inc.
Read more about the project in the extended case study.
¹ According to Dell, eBay Inc. is deploying the world’s densest modular data center (called EPIC), which has 24 rack positions and 1Megawatt of power, the Dell EPIC is the densest modular data center in the world.
² According to HP, eBay Inc. is deploying the world’s largest modular data center, with 44 rack positions and 1.4Megawatts of power, the HP EcoPOD is the largest modular data center in the world.