eBay Modular Data Center RFP - Quicksilver




On August 15, 2011 eBay pre-announced the release of their second Modular Data Center RFP through Data Center Pulse. The goal was to make the industry aware of what was coming so they could prepare to respond.

On August 19, 2011 eBay announced the official release of their second Modular RFP in Salt Lake City, Utah - Project Quicksilver. They leveraged Data Center Pulse to reach the largest audience of design and construction engineers as well as hardware, software and solutions partners to tackle the problem. Lessons learned in Project Mercury around design and fine tuning the RFP process will be applied to this project. The goal is to find the right partners with the right skills and solutions to deliver.

On October 25, 2011 eBay announced the selection of the five finalists in the second Modular Data Center RFP. The finalists are: Advance Design Engineers, Inc (ADC), Team: Deerns & Gensler, KlingStubbins, M+W Group, and Team: Winterstreet Architects & AHA Consulting Engineers. These finalists will receive compensation for their design work to date and have the opportunity to present to the DCP end user community in early 2012. These five companies presented their solutions to the eBay leadership team over the last two days. Additional evaluations will continue in November with the winner of the RFP announced in December, 2011.

On December 8, 2011 eBay announced the winner of the Quicksilver RFP was Winterstreet Architects & AHA Consulting Engineers. Design kickoff started the same day in Salt Lake City, Utah.

On June 20, 2012 eBay and Bloom announced that it would be integrating 6 MegaWatts of Bloom Fuel Cells into the Quicksilver design as the on-site, primary fuel source replacing Generators and UPS completely. This will be worlds first Data Center with primary power from fuel cells powered by natural gas. Coverage: NYTimes, GigaOM, DC Knowledge, GigaOM SF.

On September 26, 2013 eBay will be Opening Project Quicksilver to the world in Salt Lake City, UT. You can watch this event through the live webcast.


Stay tuned for more updates.




We are consutructing a new building on one of the three adjacent 15 acre phases of the Salt Lake City, Utah Data Center that we opened in 2010. You can see the phases from the arial photo below. The initial delivery of IT critial power will be 4MW, with scale to 30MW. The design must be completed in early 2012, with construction starting in late 2012 and full commissioning complete in 2013. 




We are letting engineers "engineer" by removing the restrictions of traditional data center design. They create a box that they can fill however they want to achieve or exceed the design parameters. We want the participates to push the boundaries and come up with some incredibly flexible and efficient innovations. This design should allow a useful life of > 10 years even with technology changing rapidly inside the four walls. The RFP goes into more technical details/requirements but these are some of the high level requirements:


  • Server racks from 5-40kW
  • Server containers that can scale from 100kW and up.
  • All locations (racks & containers) must have air and hot-water cooling available
  • Expand power and cooling capacity in a modular basis
  • Ability to select or change Tier level from Tier 1 to concurrently maintainable Tier 2 or 3.
  • Free cooling year round in Utah
  • Rack or MEP UPS flexibility (choose)
  • 400V distribution to the server rack PDUs
  • Entire design must be highly cost effective.


December 8, 2011 - In the episode, Dean Nelson and Mike Lewis discuss project Quicksilver with the winners of the open RFP, Conleth O'Flynn from AHA Consulting Engineers and Mark Meche from Winterstreet Archtiects.




October 25, 2011 - In the episode, Dean Nelson interviews Mike Lewis, Director of Mission Critical Engineering at eBay, James Monahan, Partner at CDCDG about the Public RFP process, scoring and selection of the finalists for Project Quicksilver.




August 19, 2011 - Dean Nelson and Mike Lewis officially release the Quicksilver RFP describing the Scope, Schedule, Requirements and Process to participate. 




August 15, 2011 - Pre-release Video where Dean Nelson gives the industry a heads up that the second round of the eBay Modular Data Center RFP is coming. Be prepared to compete.





  • 08/19/11 - RFP Opens, RFIs accepted (DONE)
  • 10/07/11 - RFP Close, Responses Due (DONE)
  • 10/17/11 - Finalists Notified (DONE)
  • 10/26/11 - Finalist Presentations start (DONE)
  • 10/28/11 - Finalist Presentations conclude (DONE)
  • 10/28/11 - eBay project team evaluations start (DONE)
  • 12/08/11 - RFP Winner announced (DONE)
  • 12/08/11 - Design work starts (DONE)
  • 06/02/12 - Bloom Fuel Cells Integrated into design (DONE)
  • 09/01/12 - Data Center Construction starts (DONE)
  • 07/01/13 - Data Center Construction complete (DONE)
  • 09/01/13 - Data Center Commissioning complete (DONE)
  • 09/10/13 - Data Center Operational (DONE)
  • 09/26/13 - Data Center Grand Opening (ON-TRACK)
  • 10/01/13 - Site Go Live (ON-TRACK)




Announced December 8, 2011 through this blog entry.



Announced October 25, 2011 through this blog entry.

RFI Responses


We will be uploaded RFI reponses here.




Each company will be scored in the manner detailed in the eBay scoresheet.




August 19, 2011 - Site Plan Photo with phases to choose from.