When eBay decided to build a data center in 2011 in Phoenix, Ariz., the online auction site and marketplace wanted something different than the standard boring box of a building. It accomplished that with the Project Mercury Data Center, which takes its design cues from the movie Tron: Legacy. During the grand opening, eBay showed a video of staffers dressed in Tron outfits using glowing discs and light sabers to fend off a denial of service attack. In an unusual move, eBay issued a public request for proposals and invited outside firms to submit designs. It also chose to go with standardized hardware, apps, and processes so additional resources can easily be added as needed. And a good chunk of the center's processing capacity comes from containerized servers on the roof. Image courtesy of eBay.
Paul Travis is Managing Editor of InformationWeek.com. Paul got his start as a newspaper reporter, putting black smudges on dead trees in the 1970s. Eventually he moved into the digital world, covering the telecommunications industry in the 1980s (when Ma Bell was broken up) ... View Full Bio