PayPal Moves to the Cloud
There's a lot of PayPal news this morning starting with the company's recent purchase of startup Braintree. Braintree is the software platform behind sites like OpenTable and AirBnB, and PayPal sees lots of potential in the technology that Braintree has. But, purchasing Braintree isn't the only thing that PayPal has done lately. The company has also looked to OpenStack for cloud hosting management.
The OpenStack Choice
PayPal decided to go with OpenStack over other cloud hosting options because OpenStack is reliable and fast. PayPal needed a cloud hosting company that could give the payment management system security and speed. PayPal isn't the only company to choose OpenStack over all other big cloud players, though.
Major companies currently using OpenStack's cloud services include Intel, Cisco, Wikimedia, and a ton of universities, government organizations, and others. In short, OpenStack is at the forefront of cloud technology, and potential cloud customers are taking note. But, with the move to OpenStack, one has to wonder whether or not PayPal's services are still secure.
OpenStack employs a system called OpenStack Security Notes that aims to help users through various security “pain points.” In short, these are troubleshooting solutions to known OpenStack problems. The Notes include information about a number of security issues, are relatively easy to flip through if you have some tech know-how, and are concise enough to help you find the problem you're dealing with in short time.
OpenStack has come under some fire in the past for various security issues, but the company has since worked with a number of engineers and developers to make these issues disappear. As with any cloud option, OpenStack does face new problems regularly, but these are always addressed in short time.
That means that PayPal's new contract with OpenStack is, indeed, secure enough for what PayPal is doing – and that's saying a lot considering the fact that PayPal deals in bank accounts and monies.
The Future for PayPal
Now that PayPal has moved to OpenStack, acquired Braintree, and forged ahead with payment services, what will the future of PayPal look like? It's tough to say what PayPal might do with Braintree, though it looks like the company may use Braintree's software to increase the company's mobile payment options and stance in the mobile payments marketplace.
A Note On Your Cloud IT Team
You might have noticed above that OpenStack provides Security Notes to its users. That's all well and good, but you'll be spending a lot of time researching terms and problems before you can really get a grasp for what's happening with security through OpenStack (or any other cloud provider, really).
My suggestion is this: don't fire your IT team when you move to the cloud, you're going to need them. You might be able to cut back on the team a bit, but you'll certainly need what some of those tech-savvy people have stored in their brains – the ability to sift through security notes with relative ease!
Questions? Comments about PayPal?