If you want to sell a car, where would you post the ad? What about buying your next dream vehicle? Would you search an auction website?
eBay sells nine thousand cars a week through their mobile interface every single day! After all, a 2003 Ferrari Enzo was sold for $1.7 on ebay.
For the past decades, businesses have been unable to make direct connections between what users do on their company's online channels (web, mobile) and the total cost of the services provided to them. At the Green Grid Forum in early March, Dean Nelson - Senior Director of Global Data Strategy, Architecture and Operations at eBay, presented a case study of eBay’s newly launched Digital Service Efficiency dashboard and metric system. The forum is held by the Green Grid Association, a non-profit and open industry consortium of information technology (IT) and data center players. See more information below.
As demand for data center space is growing, companies like eBay look at the space needed, servers deployment, cooling systems, software performance, the view point of the center's professionals across various functions, and how to design and operate an effective data center that is sustainable, minimizes carbon footprint, and saves energy and overall cost.
In order to design, construct and operate a new high efficiency data center, eBay implemented a metric-based approach, utilizing The Green Grid’s Association metric systems of power (PUE), water (WUE) and carbon (CUE) and by incorporating learnings from The Green Grid’s Data Center Maturity Model into their implementation.
What does Digital Service Efficiency (DSE) mean?
eBay uses a complete system approach, viewing their services as one entity. In the process of developing efficiency metrics for eBay’s technology infrastructure, eBay.com is handled as a single system. Performance and fine-tuning are based on users’ experiences and their immediate interface with eBay. DSE measures performance from the technical infrastructure to the delivery of applications and customer (buyer, seller, and visitor) experience, across four key business priorities: performance, cost, environmental impact, and revenue.
The Digital Service Efficiency dashboard shows the full cost, performance and environmental impact of customer transactions, in a similar visual and functional layout as a dashboard in a car. It includes several tiers:
The first is the energy sourcing - how to create the most efficient data center in terms of energy utilization. The second tier is the data center technical infrastructure, such as cooling systems for the servers. The next level addresses software – focusing on right-sizing the applications and optimizing their performance. The fourth tier is the actual service eBay provides users and the customer experience. eBay incorporated the four key business indicators of performance, cost, environmental impact, and revenue to drive the company's move toward a balanced ‘business ecosystem’. Through a complex and collaborative process, the company’s ‘total system’ strategy has yielded several operational metrics, which are reflected in the DSE dashboard (see picture). The current dashboard indicates the 2012 calculations and functions as a baseline.
Read more about eBay's DSE and download the Executive Brief: click on "eBay metrics track business performance, cost and environmental impact"
eBay plans to share their methodology and results, in order to create a conversation in the industry. In looking closely at the definitions, metrics and calculations, eBay’s model may not be a canned solution for all technology service corporations. In fact, Google’s data center innovations and infrastructure solutions are different. However, eBay’s DSE can function as a framework for others.
The Green Grid Association is an open and global industry consortium of end users, policy makers, technology providers, facility architects, and utility companies that works to improve the resource efficiency of information technology and data centers. The Green Grid seeks to unite global industry efforts, create a common set of metrics, and develop technical resources and educational tools to further its goals. It currently has over 175 member companies around the world.
The Green Grid organization offers resources and tools (see “Library and Tools” tab), which include glossary and standards, case studies, white-papers, metrics and measurement, industry blogs, and more. These tools make it easier for data center managers to determine and compare their operational efficiency.