PayPal Sidelines VMware For OpenStack

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PayPal puts OpenStack virtualisation platform to virtualise 10,000 servers. Will the rest of eBay follow?

PayPal has adopted OpenStack, the open source cloud architecture – and cut back its commitment to VMware, according to reports. cloud tool mirantis fuel

eBay subsidiary PayPal will take VMware virtualisation software off 10,000 servers and use  the OpenStack solution instead. The information comes from various interviews given by the OpenStack software specialist on the project, Mirantis, which has released Fuel, its OpenStack toolset free  to the public.

OpenStack bids for eBay business

PayPal is a long-time member of the OpenStack Foundation, but also a committed VMware user.  It is using VMware’s vSphere for virtualisation, but wants to add a layer of “orchestration” of its virtual servers to turn them into a more flexible cloud resource.

Instead of using VMware’s vCloud Director, PayPal is turning to OpenStack for this layer, according to interviews given by Boris Renski, co-founder of Mirantis and a board member of the OpenStack Foundation. Mirantis has an important role in OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system launched by Rackspace back in 2010, which now has backing from HP, IBM, Dell and others. Mirantis itself is backed by venture funding from Intel.

“The grand vision for project is, over time, they will replace all of their virtual infrastructure with OpenStack, not just PayPal, but PayPal and eBay, together,” Renski told Business Insider. “That’s about 80,000 servers across their data centers.”

PayPal wouldn’t comment on that, but did tell GigaOm that it is using OpenStack, while still continuing to use VMware.

And VMware itself is conflicted. It has joined OpenStack, despite the obvious conflict between the open source offering and its own vSphere and vCloud Director. So far, its reaction has been to say that it is “committed to customer choice”.

Meanwhile, Mirantis’ Fuel tools are now available for free under the Apache  2.0 open source  licence. That’s no conflict for Mirantis, which makes its money as a consultant on projects for customers like PayPal, as well as NASA, WebEx and AT&T.

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