eBay Names Finalists for Modular Data Center

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The site in Phoenix where eBay is commencing construction on an 8,000 square foot data center. The company is seeking design submissions for a rooftop container installation.

Last month we wrote about reported an interesting partnership in which eBay was working with Data Center Pulse to solicit proposals for a new modular data center eBay is building in Phoenix. The process has moved ahead quickly, and generated significant interest from data center design and construction firms.

eBay has now narrowed the field to six finalists, including three which emerged through the Data Center Pulse RFP process. Dean Nelson, eBay’s Senior Director of Global Data Center Strategy (and co-founder of Data Center Pulse), shared the list of finalists in an update at Data Center Pulse.

Rooftop Containers
The winning design will be used in an 8,000 square foot data center that eBay is building in Phoenix, which will be able to accommodate up to 12 server-filled containers on its roof. The two-story building will also include raised-floor space on its first floor.


The eBay project calls for a combination of approaches to cooling and reliability, using both air cooling and liquid cooling in different parts of the facility. Nelson said one goal of the design is to have containers that can use fresh air cooling (free cooling) year-round, despite the temperatures in Phoenix.

Nelson says the six finalists have built almost 800 data centers. “All of them had modular experience and offerings, and all of them committed to meeting their efficiency committments in the design,” Dean writes. “I don’t know about you, but with that much brain power and experience, this data center project has the potential to change the game. … I truly believe that if we openly share our challenge/problem/need with the industry, we will find incredible solutions.”

Additional RFP Participants Identified
In addition to sharing information about the six finalists, eBay has also identified 14 of the companies that participated in the RFP, providing a ready list of 20 teams providing modular data center design and construction. That’s a list that could be useful to other companies  contemplating similar projects.

Data Center Pulse has posted a video in which Nelson, eBay Director of Mission Critical Engineering Mike Lewis and James Monahan from the California Data Center Design Group (CDCDG) reveal the finalists and discuss the process.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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