CIOs ‘should pay electricity bill’ – eBay data centre chief

The man in charge of online auction giant eBay’s data centres argues that the electricity used by IT equipment should be paid for from the IT department’s budget.

That way, Dean Nelson said at a US conference this week, the impact that IT decisions have on energy efficiency will be better understood. It will also become possible to justify IT projects on the basis of energy savings, as well as functional improvements, he said.

“You’re self-funding activities by becoming more and more efficient," said Nelson at the Uptime Institute Symposium in New York.

Nelson presented the example of eBay’s latest data centre, based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The $287 million cost of building the new facility has been justified by the energy saving made by transferring workloads to a more modern, more efficient data centre.

In order to improve energy efficiency in its data centres, the company monitors its performance using such metrics as ‘transaction per watt’ and ‘dollar per watt’,  Nelson said.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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