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Cloud Businesses

Why PayPal Chose OpenStack 64

AlbanX writes in with this story about Paypal's use of OpenStack. "PayPal's IT team has taken control of its technology release cycle by shifting key components of its IT infrastructure onto OpenStack. For PayPal, the decision to use components of OpenStack was based around speed to market. It allows the payments provider to untether its release cycle from those of vendor partners. 'PayPal has not historically been known for its fast reactions,' PayPal senior engineer Scott Carlson conceded to attendees at the VMworld conference in San Francisco this week. 'It has taken us six to nine months sometimes to react to our competitors.'"
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Why PayPal Chose OpenStack

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  • Openstack bias (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Drewdad ( 1738014 ) on Friday August 30, 2013 @08:14AM (#44715273)
    No articles on Credit Suisse's decision not to use OpenStack and their rationale for not doing so? On my own head be it, I suppose....
    • Credit Suisse did their own inhouse development that they spun off in DynamicOps which is now VMWare's vCAC product
  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Friday August 30, 2013 @08:37AM (#44715371)

    They have a single business, with a relatively constant, yet probably growing number of users. If they need 100 servers today, next year it will be 120. They don't need massive content or application distribution, they don't need to rush new products to market, they don't need all that cloudy stuff. If "OpenStack" just means they virtualized some old iron that's another story, but a far less interesting one.

    • by afidel ( 530433 )

      "From the minute developers finish final QA in our dev space, they have 15 minutes to be live in front of customers on the PayPal website," Carlson said. "That means they put their innovation on the VM, they put the operating system on it, they put the app on it, they put on a load balancer, they fix the firewalls and its up."


      The scalability of the OpenStack platform also offered a crucial advantage for when PayPal is forced to cope with sudden spikes in traffic.

      "When [parent company] eBay has a fre

    • Except where they said they do need to rush new products to market. PayPal still adds markets and services all the time...

    • by mzito ( 5482 ) on Friday August 30, 2013 @08:53AM (#44715457) Homepage

      So - there's a couple of reasons why they would want their own cloud:

      - Their business isn't actually very static. As you might imagine, they have daily spikes of traffic at particular times of day, likely early evening across the US. It might not be worthwhile for them to do elastic computing for that, but think about holiday times, like Christmas, and their purchase volume certainly goes up.
      - Development environments - very often, developers will want a sandbox environment to use for a few weeks or months and then get rid of them. Or, they might want to run some analytics on 50-100 nodes and then tear them down
      - Easier infrastructure lifecycle management - abstracting the running OS into a virtual machine makes it much easier to archive out old hardware and onboard new - just migrate the VMs over to a new machine, pull out the hardware, throw it away.
      - Rightsizing hardware - cloud allows them to buy a small number of predictable builds and then size their compute to their needs - no need to dedicate an 8-core machine with 8 GB of RAM for an internal email server, or a sandbox to play with MySQL

      PayPal actually has a very complex business, huge infrastructure, crazy security requirements, tons of applications and people, and is generally a technology heavy company.

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

        All of this is extremely important, but how does any of that affect their Time to Market? It doesn't.

        I am a big proponent of VM or "cloud" infrastructures for the flexibility that they give you for capacity or repurposing resources on the fly.

        However, none of that is particularly important for faster feature build outs. Product development times are usually so long that you could probably order, rack and stack actual boxes before some features even get out of development. Hardware is almost never the rea

        • by mzito ( 5482 )

          Some fair points, but here's my responses:

          - "Deployments" doesn't only mean "rolling out new applications" wholesale. It could mean, "I want to test my new fraud analytics algorithm on our last six months of transaction history", or "We're adding a new feature that might be very popular", or "turns out our application is hitting a database bottleneck, we're working on figuring out why that is, till then, spin up three more read-only slaves to see if we can alleviate it"
          - "Time to Market" covers a lot of sc

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can give you shitload of reasons as to why you should not use PayPal !!!!

  • by Stu101 ( 1031686 ) on Friday August 30, 2013 @09:34AM (#44715797) Homepage

    Those involved in Virtualisation probably (or should have) known this anyhow.

    The Hypervisor war is done. Pretty much everyone (VMware, MS, Citrix) have their new cloud based offerings that are agnostic towards the hypervisor that runs on the tin. If you have played with vClould Automation Center for example, there are multiple options for the hypervisor types including Citrix. The bottom line is there is not much more to add to to hyervisor and there is also less money in the hypervisor. It is an old (mature?) technology.

    The new hot button is the tools to manage the infrastructure and that is where the real war is going to be won or lost.

  • i think the real story here is that a large business actually realized the benefits of open source are greater than the ability to play the blame game by paying for vendor support.

    then again, maybe grumpy cat is really in charge of IT. []

  • This is a good opportunity to get a nice list of Paypal Competitors. I have no clue. Any suggestions appreciated.

    Free Road Rage Reducer []

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