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The Journey to 150,000 Containers at PayPal

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The Journey to 150,000 Containers at PayPal
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PayPal is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Their open digital payments platform gives 218 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways. To achieve this, PayPal has built a global presence that must be highly available to all its users: if PayPal is down, the effects ripple down to many of their small business customers, who rely on PayPal as their sole payment processing solution.

PayPal turned to Docker Enterprise Edition  to help them achieve new operational efficiencies, including a 50% increase in the speed of their build-test-deploy cycles. At the same time, they increased application availability through Docker’s dynamic placement capabilities and infrastructure independence; and they improved security by using Docker to automate and granularly control access to resources. On top of the operational benefits, PayPal’s use of Docker empowered developers to innovate and try new tools and frameworks that previously were difficult to introduce due to PayPal’s application and operational complexity.

Meghdoot Bhattacharya, Cloud Engineer at PayPal, shared the journey his team has helped PayPal undertake over the course of the past two years to introduce Docker in to the PayPal environment and grow its usage into the standard platform for application delivery. You can view the full DockerCon EU 2017 session here:

PayPal’s Past, Present, and Future with Docker

While PayPal may not be an “old” company, over the course of their 17+ years they have built a global payment processing platform consisting of hundreds, if not thousands, of individual applications and services. As is usual with this level of rapid development and growth, there are a plethora of different tools and processes for building, testing, deploying and running each of these applications. For both the developer teams and for operations, the lack of standardization created issues. Developers were locked into a limited set of tools and frameworks and it was difficult to add anything new to the mix because of the burden it placed on test and operations teams to figure out how to deploy and run each new stack. For operations, the strain of deploying apps to multiple architectures and multiple clouds, each with different sets of instrumentation and procedures, led to slow turnaround times for deployment and maintenance.

PayPal’s initial use of Docker was simply as a means to create a single, consistent application packaging format that could be used with as many of their existing applications as possible. They focused on the operational side of the house, creating a unified application delivery and operational model, to address their issues around application silos. PayPal undertook this phase prior to the launch of Docker’s official Modernize Traditional Applications program, yet they shared many of the same strategies and benefits: start with existing applications where you already have in-house expertise around the day-to-day operations, and focus on migrating the applications to containers without changing the code. At this stage, PayPal recognized several important benefits, even though the apps themselves remained the same:

Read the entire article here, The Journey to 150,000 Containers at PayPal

Via the fine folks at Docker.

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Docker Docker is an open-source project to easily create lightweight, portable, self-sufficient containers from any application. The same container that a developer builds and tests on a laptop can run at scale, in production, on VMs, bare metal, OpenStack clusters, public clouds and more.

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