eBay’s Top 5 Data Center Practices, Olivier Sanche Shares Ideas

eBay’s Olivier Sanche is a name recognized in the Mac community and data center industry with the announcement he will be joining Apple.

Apple's Going Greener with New Hire

Posted 08/13/2009 at 11:59:29am | by Danny Estrada

Apple just hired Oliver Sanche, eBay's former Senior Director of Data Centers Services and Stategies. Sanche also happens to be the leading expert on the greening of cloud computing facilities. Sanche was assisting eBay in its quest to become carbon neutral since 2007. His latest contribution to providing a world for your future Mac-using offspring, has been the overseeing of eBay's newest data-center, which will reach the second highest LEED standards when it goes live in 2010.

Now Apple is looking to clean up their footprint on our planet by using Sanche's services in overseeing their planned billion dollar, 500,000-square-foot facility in North Carolina that will serve as Apple's primary East Coast data center. Sanche has helped to combine and conserve eBay's energy uses by utilizing a combination of solar energy, facilities management, and the adoption of a high-quality carbon-offset program.

Here is a recent post that has eBay sharing its top 5 data center ideas to be green.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

eBay's Sustainable Data Center

Green is part of eBay’s DNA
Sustainability at eBay is a strong part of its culture. Its basic business model is all about sustainability, since it encourages reuse by establishing markets for used products. Continuing the sustainability theme in its operations, both grass roots employee initiatives and broader corporate programs have been launched. Some of these programs include:

I like the list because it is shorter than most who share ten ideas, and starts with a fundamental of research.

Here are the top two, for the remaining three you can go to the full post.

eBay’s Olivier Sanche “Top 5” to enhance Data Center sustainability
1) Research best practices.
There are many excellent resources available including Climate Savers, Green Grid, and Data Center Pulse. Such resources can help a business determine which activities provide the biggest improvements, learn how to implement current best practices, understand trends to plan accordingly, and connect with other data center professionals interested in sustainability.

#2 is an end to end view few talk about as they themselves are in silos.

2) Baseline current energy costs, apply appropriate metrics and break-down silos.

If not already part of the data center budget, DC energy costs should be moved to the DC budget to provide the necessary visibility to manage. To improve energy utilization, DC’s usually focus on making the plant and equipment more efficient, but it is just as important to understand how the equipment is used. To illustrate his point, Olivier shared an analogy. When comparing a Hummer and a Prius when looking at mpg, the Prius wins. But if the Hummer is carrying eight people and the Prius is only carrying one person, the person-miles per gallon makes the Hummer more efficient. To understand an analogous person-miles per gallon at the data center, an important metric is “computing per watt”.

It is necessary to partner with application delivery, engineering, architecture and operations to enhance the computing per watt metric. According to Olivier, “a major problem is that a DC is typically siloed from other parts of the organization.” Olivier made the effort to seek out his partners to share the data on energy use and then work together across the organization to find creative solutions. Without data and metrics, each department will likely focus on their activities and sub-optimize to the determent of the overall goal of sustainability. Armed with the end-to-end view, increasing utilization became a critical goal. The next step was to fine-tune applications, middleware, network, o/s to work better together to perform a function or service or eliminate unneeded code to further drive down energy use. Combining energy reduction for both the equipment and services using the equipment is comparable to using two Prius’s to transport eight passengers and abandoning the Hummer altogether.