Sun's data-center chief moves to eBay

Dean Nelson is the latest in a series of top data-center executives to switch companies

The man in charge of Sun Microsystems' global data-center strategy and a noted speaker on data-center energy efficiency is leaving Sun to work at eBay, he said on Tuesday.

Dean Nelson, who also founded Data Center Pulse, an end-user group for data-center operators, has been made senior director in charge of eBay's global data-center strategy, he announced in a blog post.

He's the latest in a growing list of top data-center executives to switch companies.

At eBay he replaces Olivier Sanchez, who reportedly left the auction giant earlier this year to become director of global data-center operations at Apple.

Also this year, Michael Manos, the general manager of Microsoft's Data Center Services division, left the company to work for wholesale data-center provider Digital Realty Trust, and soon afterward Microsoft hired Kevin Timmons, who previously managed Yahoo's data centers.

In part, the moves reflect the growing strategic importance of data-center management at large companies. As computing equipment becomes more dense and powerful, managing data centers effectively to reduce cooling and energy costs has become more critical.

In Nelson's case, he said his "bittersweet" move was spurred by Sun's planned acquisition by Oracle.

"When the official announcement came through that Oracle intended to purchase Sun, it caused many people to rethink their future," he wrote.

"I have always believed that if I am challenged in my job, being stretched to continuously learn, have a solid team, executive support, and of course good compensation, there isn't a reason to look for something else. But with uncertainty, I also believed it was prudent to see what options were out there."

Nelson joined Sun straight from college in 1989, working as a component debugger at a factory in Milpitas, California.

He left in 2000 to work for networking startup Allegro Networks and returned to Sun after Allegro went out of business in 2003.

He spent the past few years leading a successful project to consolidate Sun's data centers worldwide, reducing its 1.4 million-square-foot data-center footprint by 41 percent. He also met frequently with Sun customers, including eBay, to understand their needs and demonstrate Sun technologies.

Nelson said eBay's Sanchez approached him about taking a job at eBay shortly before Sanchez left the auction company.

Nelson is also a frequent speaker on energy efficiency at events such as Data Center World and Datacenter Dynamics.

He called his decision to leave Sun "bittersweet" and praised the "caliber, integrity and passion" of its top executives.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Sun Mircosystemsebaydata centres

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things


Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?