eBay’s New Digital Service Efficiency Initiative

eBay Inc. Staff


Last week, eBay released a white paper on its Digital Service Efficiency (DSE) initiative, which helps it to see the full cost, performance and environmental impact of customer buy and sell transactions. This gives eBay a holistic way to balance and tune its technical infrastructure.

Dean Nelson, eBay’s vice president of Global Foundation Services, says the initiative “is the miles per gallon measure for technical infrastructure for eBay.”

Using DSE, eBay can make more informed decisions on how to optimize every aspect of its technical infrastructure, including the sourcing of electrical power, data center infrastructure, IT infrastructure, and the software that delivers services to users.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s what the media is saying:

  • “The most important thing about eBay’s Digital Service Efficiency initiative is that it does, as I suggested, throw down the gauntlet and challenge other high tech companies to do what eBay has done: Be transparent about their environmental impact. It’s a huge thumbs up to eBay for showing the way. So, when will your company do the same?” — Forbes
  • “Initiatives like this are important because most companies don’t know how to measure such efficiency, and many companies will have to experiment and share the results in order to lead the way… ‘We have a nearly infinite appetite for all kinds of digital services,’ Nelson said. Therefore, it’s more critical than ever for IT ensure that these services delivered in the most efficient and responsible manner possible. The DSE metric is one of the first standards to make this happen.” — Information Week
  • “The numbers come from eBay, so one can take them with a grain of salt, but the overall picture is pretty clear. The company serves a lot of customers fairly efficiently. At a minimum, the company is certainly doing its homework to make it as efficient as possible.” — ReadWrite
  • “Kudos to the eBay team for their openness, this disclosure breakthrough, and their leadership in data center management.” — Data Center Knowledge (authored by an Intel executive)
  • “It’s not clear if eBay intends to release any of the code behind this effort to the open-source community, as it has with some of its other engineering work. And one has to wonder how much the good-PR factor plays into eBay’s describing its new scheme in such detail. But DSE does look like a big step in the right direction and one that many other companies running their own infrastructure will want to emulate.” — Data Center Acceleration