PayPal is one of the largest money transfer services in the world if not the largest. The company has customers from across the world and on a single day, millions of transactions involving money are carried out on this platform. There is no doubt that online money transfer is a very sensitive business especially in this modern era that has witnessed a higher proliferation of information technology and an increase in the number of cybercrimes such as hacking. The damages that PayPal would incur if its system was ever hacked would be enormous. Therefore, for a company of its size and that deals in this kind of risky business, it must have a very strong business operation as well as security infrastructure.
Unlike many other companies involved in this kind of business, PayPal currently uses an open source Linux solutions to ensure better data center and developer efficiency. PayPal can be seen to be following the advice and counsel of The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) which has openly endorsed an open source systems approach as the best when it comes to the architecture development method (ADM). The ADM is used to create and advance an enterprise architecture that meets the information technology, as well as the business needs of an organization, and given the nature of business that PayPal is engaged in, it is clear to see why the company would orient towards an Open source approach.
The fact that PayPal hosts a lot of applications on one single platform is one of the reasons why the open source is very beneficial. In addition, the fact that PayPal uses a single control point for a variety of its infrastructural elements is another exhibition of the suitability of the open source approach. By adopting or by utilizing the Linux solutions open source approach as the nexus or center of control, it makes sure that the individual infrastructural elements do not end up acquiring monopolistic control which can be utilized to influence or affect decisions down the stack of the other various technologies. Simply put, it brings about a natural counterbalance.
The Linux open source application as shown from the case study also has several advantages when it comes to app development. It makes it possible for PayPal to be able to replicate its entire live site. This happens in the application development lab where coders are able to write entirely new versions of the company’s product applications and then switch them live without incurring any disruptions to business services. As he vice president to the company’s core technologies puts it, testing a new system in the exact same environment where production takes place can create havoc and possibly lead to a lot of interruptions but this problem is alleviated via the use of open source.
The Linux servers also help to increase the security of the company as it is accompanied by some tweaks that are used to add extra security layers.
There are not many challenges in using this open source approach, but some could arise because of the high number of contributors who are under a singular nexus of control. The challenge is in establishing a common standard for code submissions which may be quite hard. Additionally, the definition of tasks for different coders may be quite hard especially given the radical nature of developers at PayPal as indicated by company’s vice president of core technologies, Mr. Mengerink.
Overall, PayPal is on the right track. The use of the Linux open source not only allows modifications to take place without disrupting normal business services but also helps the company increase the level of security. This is without a doubt the main aim of any TOGAF framework that attempts to provide the best approach when it comes to designing, planning and implementing the information infrastructure of a company. In the case of PayPal, the ADM that utilizes the open source caters for the enterprise architectural demands of a company existing in such a sensitive business industry.
Hockmuth, Phil. "Linux, Open Source Software Pay off for PayPal." Network World. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015. <http://www.networkworld.com/article/2296516/data-center/linux--open-source-software-pay-off-for-paypal.html>.