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Agility with Stability

At any given minute, more than $4,400 changes hands online over PayPals 113 million registered accounts around the
world. The payments come via PCs or mobile devices in 190 different markets with 25 different currencies. For PayPal,
this is the future of money enabling customers to make payments anytime, anywhere and from any device.

OpenStack is playing a major part in PayPals vision by enabling a private cloud that helps the companys developers
quickly respond to its customers increasing demands and constantly changing needs, while developing a stable
platform for customers to pay for their purchases.

We want to deliver the future of money today. What that means is we want to enable our customers to make payments
any time and any way, said Saran Mandair, senior director of PayPal infrastructure engineering. We are moving to the
cloud powered by OpenStack to enable agility, availability and the innovation necessary to get the best products to our
customers, faster than our competitors.

A key component of the selection criteria for PayPals cloud infrastructure was the ability to scale quickly without
compromising availability. For its engineers and developers to be successful, the platform had to support PayPals
requirement of 99.9999% availability. According to Mandair, We needed agility without sacrificing availability. For our
customers, that means they have a website that is up and running to conduct their business to process payments
anywhere, anytime that they choose to use PayPal.

To meet this demand, PayPal decided to build its private cloud infrastructure with OpenStack. OpenStack is the fastest
growing open cloud community, building software to power public and private clouds for a growing number of
organizations like CERN, eBay, HP, Intel, MercadoLibre and Rackspace. The software controls and automates pools of
compute, storage and networking resources to turn standard hardware into a powerful cloud computing environment.

PayPal is using a broad portfolio of OpenStack technologies to support key areas of mobility, payments, credit,
merchants and the web operations for more than 117 million active registered accounts. The first phase of its
OpenStack-based private cloud was rolled out in December 2011 in the midst of the online holiday shopping season.

According to Anand Palanisamy, an architect in the PayPal infrastructure engineering team, the company started with
an aggressive schedule and small, dedicated team of two developers to develop a prototype.

We had a fairly detailed success criteria and check list within eight weeks, he said. We quickly saw it pay substantial
dividends, and the initial prototype validated further investment in OpenStack.

Moving forward, Palanisamy said, they will organize teams split into two different aspects OpenStack deployment and
application development. OpenStack supports the development process for agile teams by providing a framework for
interconnected modules that are isolated but can be put together fairly easily.

We are focused on individual cases like networking, compute and storage, the primary capabilities of the OpenStack
platform, Palanisamy said. All three areas have engineers engaged on the individual subjects rather than having one
large cloud team to work all over the place. OpenStack enables us to operate smaller teams and be more selective in
our deployment and development.

As the project advances, the PayPal infrastructure team is targeting aggressive internal cloud milestones, covering 90
percent of some parts of their infrastructure in the next nine to 12 months with several thousand physical nodes.
In the meantime, Palanisamy said early results are validating their plans to continue down an aggressive path with
OpenStack.

Open Source/Open Standards


As an open source technology, OpenStack provides PayPal with input and insights from other organizations that share their
passion and focus. Mandair says hes committed to open source technologies like OpenStack because he can benefit from
others and give back to the community with PayPals own findings.

One of the benefits we see in an open development model is leveraging the intellectual mindset of people who are outside of
our companyacross the worldwho have this passion, Mandair said. We take advantage of an aggressive roadmap of
what the community is contributing, while we put our code back in for others to consider and leverage if they want to.

Palanisamy also values the role the open source community plays by encouraging vendors to develop products with open
standards for compatibility with a variety of technologies in their computing environment. By developing products that are not
just unique to PayPal, new innovations support and build the entire ecosystem.

It also helps our vendors because they dont have to grapple with multiple standards to meet different customer needs, he
said. OpenStack as an open source product gives us the flexibility to choose the products that are right for our needs and
frees us from proprietary settings. This validates that OpenStack is the right technology versus everything weve looked at so
far.

As for how OpenStack compares with other open source technologies, both Palanisamy and Mandair have been impressed
with the support theyve received from the OpenStack community. They say problems and questions have been addressed in
less than two hours, which exceeds their experience with other cloud products.

For PayPal, OpenStack APIs have accelerated the companys development process by making applications easier to deploy
on common infrastructure. Having one consistent standard across their environment helps developers get up to speed faster
without additional training or support.

By leveraging the collective innovation of the OpenStack community, we can develop and grow our private cloud much
quicker without having to reinvent anything, said Mandair. With this very active community, we help each other grow by
avoiding similar mistakes and guiding each other along the way. That actually validates how much the community out there
is helping to build products in a much quicker timeframe in a simple and elegant manner.

In 2012, PayPal experienced dramatic growth in its registered users, new ventures with Discover and Softbank, along with
new innovations to make it easier to for small businesses to make and accept mobile payments. As these and other
milestones in PayPals future create new customer demand and greater payment volumes, Palanisamy and Mandair plan to
leverage the cloud with OpenStack for the agility to address changes and a platform to help ensure availability.

From what we are experiencing, OpenStack is ready for primetime, Mandair said. And that is encouraging us to stay on
this path in a fairly aggressive manner, so we can leverage the benefits and the contribution from a community that is
growing every time you look at the website.
PayPal
https://www.paypal.com
Industry: Information Technology
Headquarters: San Jose
Size: More than 10,000 employees

OpenStack technologies PayPal uses:

Openstack Compute (Nova)


Openstack Block Storage (Cinder)
Openstack Object Storage (Swift)
Openstack Network
Openstack Dashboard (Horizon)
Openstack Identity Service (Keystone)
Openstack Image Service (Glance)
Heat
Ceilometer

Links About PayPal

OpenStack at PayPal (http://www.slideshare.net/openstackindia/openstack-at-paypal-15673557) -


OpenStack India Day 2012 - PayPal Presentation