Advantages of Running Containers on Bare Metal in the Cloud

November 22, 2016
By Daniel Morton

Bare Metal Logo

Reading Time: about 5 minutes

With each passing day businesses become more and more reliant on data analytics and high-performance infrastructure needed to power data workloads. Enter CenturyLink Cloud® Bare Metal, the next evolution in cloud computing. It's a natural progression of virtualized cloud technology that offer's the capability of cloud without drawbacks of virtualization.

Handling the incredible amounts of information streaming across company networks is a huge challenge for any system administrator. Businesses are realizing that running bare metal servers in the cloud and combining them with container technology, built on top of a complete enterprise cloud platform, is essential for success.

The container you choose depends on the complexity of the project and your specific business needs. If your DevOps team is smaller and you want broad functionality right out of the box, Docker is a good choice. If customization is an important criterion, CoreOS Rocket is a good selection. If you're looking for operating system isolation between instances, Canonical LXD is a good option. You can find tutorials on our Developer Center that show how to implement any of these three containers on our platform. When it comes to physical servers that provide the flexibility and control of a virtual...

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Simplifying Health Information Management in the Cloud

November 21, 2016
By Chad Zerangue

simplicity doc.png

Periodically, we turn over control of the CenturyLink Cloud blog to members of our certified technology Ecosystem to share how they leverage our platform to enable customer success. This week’s guest author from the Cloud Marketplace Provider Program is Chad Zerangue, CEO, at Simplicity Health Systems.

Health information is becoming increasingly difficult to manage as clinical and financial requirements and regulations become more stringent and partnering relationships become increasingly complex. This is especially the case when it comes to sharing information with ancillary services like pharmacies, radiology departments, medical laboratories, third-party providers, and specialist providers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has a growing HIPAA Audit Program. HIPAA-covered entities will be required to make sure their systems are compliant with the HIPAA Privacy Act or face heavy fines, jail time, or both. Many small and medium sized healthcare businesses can’t afford multi-million dollar health information systems that larger hospitals and other large health entities can. In turn, they resort to non-compliant tools such as email, fax machines, eFax, RingCentral, Box, and DropBox. Simplicity Health Systems is disrupting that paradigm with a system that allows healthcare businesses to easily share information with their partners,...

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Big Data on Bare Metal

November 14, 2016
By Brandy Smith

big data on bare metal

Reading Time: about 4 minutes

Recently we beefed up our Bare Metal servers to provide customers with more ways to utilize, build, and customize their bare metal instances. These new configurations were designed to allow the Bare Metal servers to support more intensive compute workloads, as well as accommodate a wider range of use cases while still providing the flexibility and control of virtual machines.

CenturyLink Bare Metal servers are fully-integrated into the CenturyLink Cloud®, allowing you to create and manage physical servers alongside virtual instances. Customizable solutions are available such as the ability to power on and off your bare metal instances as needed with pay-as-you go flexibility, and host a wide range of applications from a unified interface. Ideal for compute-intensive applications like databases, analytics jobs, grid computing, and other workloads requiring consistent performance.

Big Data on Bare Metal

Bare Metal Servers on CenturyLink Cloud provide an excellent environment for your business’s big data application workloads. They provide the ability to provision and manage physical machines fast via API or Control Portal. Design and grow your clusters to meet the exact demands of your data. Compute isolation and consistent performance are essential when mining demanding scenarios like recommendation engines, machine learning, and...

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Leveraging Relational DB to Control IT Sprawl

November 7, 2016
By Daniel Morton

Reading Time: about 4 minutes

Control IT Sprawl

Data is the foundation of businesses today. Thus, database technology is a critical component of any IT infrastructure. In a typical enterprise IT environment, it’s not uncommon to see engineers and developers create hundreds or even thousands of databases and the bare metal machines or VMs needed to run them. That raises the issue of a significant problem for companies, both large and small -- database sprawl. The Uptime Institute estimates that up to 30% of servers in this country alone are "comatose," but still "racked and running." In the typical enterprise environment there are huge numbers of resources sitting idle, poorly optimized, under-utilized, or completely forgotten. A digital footprint like that consumes more in resources than many companies care even to think about.

The Problem of Database Sprawl

Management of IT sprawl is more than simply an administrative headache. There are both tangible and intangible costs that impact an organization’s IT operations, and those costs can add up quickly. Here is just a sample:

  • Poor Use of Resources - IT personnel now have the added responsibilities of administering databases and maintaining servers.
  • Best Practices Overlooked - The fact is, all databases are not implemented or maintained in the same
...

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Four Factors to Consider Before Taking Big Data to the Cloud

October 26, 2016
By Brandy Smith

EMC-Cloud-Big-Data

Big data is rapidly evolving from proof-of-concept to production. While the terms big data and cloud were previously taboo, many businesses are looking to big data as a source of customer insight and a way to bolster operational efficiencies. The cloud is becoming a viable option as many IT managers are faced with the challenges of finding ways to collect, store, manage, and analyze large amounts of data collected from thousands of sources.

As big data production applications migrate toward becoming the norm across organizations, it is being increasingly applied to enterprise-wide, mission-critical operations. Big data has become too massive to keep on a single proprietary system. As such, the demands for integration are increasing exponentially. The current task at hand for many IT decision makers is to create a plan for taking their businesses data to the cloud, and how it will be used after it is there. But once that is complete, the monumental task of building out a long-term strategy for their data to succeed in real-world corporate IT settings awaits.

The Big Data Model

Big data activity can be aggressive. Often this means that the issue of data collection is way ahead of storage and utilization capabilities. When...

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Let's Talk Storage

October 20, 2016
By Pete Peterson

storage.png Reading Time: about 4 minutes

At CenturyLink we love all things storage. We strive to incorporate new technologies into our platform to provide best-in-class service and unmatched performance. As the flash memory market undergoes radical changes we are excited to offer customers a portfolio of storage options.

What is Storage?

The question "What qualifies as storage?" needs to be asked because the line between what can and can not be considered storage has become blurred. Many do not consider RAM to be storage due to its lack of crash consistency, but it has the most lanes to the processor; each of the lanes directly translates into improved application performance. With the emergence of 3d-NAND flash and nano-second respond latency, we can now move to primary storage into the memory bus. This change provides 48GB/s throughput to the caching drive as compared to the 2.8 GB/s on the PCI bus. A memory bus type caching drives can scale-write IOPS in excess of 100M1. To put this into context, this translates to the storage requirements of 1,500 large enterprise exchange servers2 or 1000 SAP HANNA instances3. This type of disruptive technology changes what primary storage means.

How do we Define Performance?

When we designed our software defined...

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Tips for a Successful Security Strategy

October 19, 2016
By Brandy Smith

secure cloud

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an annual campaign sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). The overall goal, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which participates in NCSAM, is to “increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident.”

Security threats are vast and constantly evolving, as should your businesses security strategy.

Today, security isn’t just about basic protection. Companies have far more to consider than they once did. Now, a security strategy is a holistic approach to protection, prevention, detection and response—and it needs to encompass all aspects of an adaptive security architecture.

Top Business Security Threats

Here’s an overview of what you need to consider when implementing, updating, and enforcing your security strategy.

External Threats

According to Cisco's Annual Security report, 100% of multinational companies show evidence that suspicious traffic was emanating from their networks and attempting to connect to questionable sites.

The speed at which external threats are increasing is exponential. There are millions of malware variations that enterprises must defend against, but it’s difficult for signature-based malware to keep up. There are more distributed denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks than ever before, and they vary widely; they can be highly targeted or generic, long...

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Spin Up a Cloud Relational Database in Minutes

October 10, 2016
By Daniel Morton

Relational DB Logo

Reading Time: about 4 minutes

CenturyLink demonstrates its commitment to provide automation and productivity on our Hybrid IT Services Platform, which makes it easy for you to manage and control your virtualized application and network resources.

Relational DB is a MySQL-compatible Database-as-a-Service (RDBaaS) designed to meet the needs of the developer for rapid software development while providing accelerated IT on-demand. For example, you can easily provision database environments without incurring any of the usual costs related to dedicated hardware and licensing. Developers can spin up high-performing, dynamic MySQL-compatible databases instantly to support their software delivery needs while minimizing infrastructure costs and reducing the time required to manage.

Deployment Options

Companies look for an advantage in the marketplace while also looking to control costs. There are basically two database deployment options facing many enterprises both large or small. In either case, the option begins with defining your need. The decision is determining which of the two makes the most sense for your business.

Traditional Self-Service Relational DB
Staff the required database administrators Define the budget
Procure or rent the hardware Consume services on an as-needed basis
Define infrastructure requirements Scale up or down as necessary
Define maintenance and downtime process
Manage security
Implement load balancing
Set up backup, failover, and failback procedures
Database application installation, configuration, automation, tuning,
...

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Increase Security Not Complexity

October 5, 2016
By Matt Pley

fortinet-logo

Periodically, we turn over control of the CenturyLink Cloud blog to members of our certified technology Ecosystem to share how they leverage our platform to enable customer success. This week’s guest author from the Cloud Marketplace Provider Program is Matt Pley, VP Carrier & Service Provider Group, at Fortinet.

Cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular among enterprises looking to take advantage of quick deployment, unprecedented scalability, and cost savings. Both public cloud adoption and private cloud infrastructure, including virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN), are rapidly transforming data centers worldwide. Evolving your infrastructure means your security must evolve as well. If your security can’t keep up with the agile public, private, and hybrid cloud environments of today, gaps in protection will occur. The Fortinet Security Fabric has integrated next-generation firewall (NGFW) technology with the CenturyLink Cloud platform to help businesses achieve end-to-end security without the complexity.

End-to-end Next Adaptive Security Protection

The award winning Fortinet Security Fabric network security solutions provide end-to-end security across the entire network. FortiGate enterprise firewalls are optimized for internal segmentation, perimeter, cloud, data center, distributed, and small business deployments. Organizations can simplify their security posture with one security solution across your physical, virtual, and cloud deployments.

Organizations can choose individual...

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Beefing Up Bare Metal

October 3, 2016
By Joe Nguyen

Servers in the cloud

In an effort to better meet our customers' needs and the ever changing market, we beefed up the feature set and availability for our Bare Metal servers on the CenturyLink Cloud®. At CenturyLink we continue to build a customer driven cloud, powered by feedback from the front lines of our business---the user. And while Bare Metal servers in the CenturyLink Cloud have always delivered the best of both worlds: the computing power of a physical server, plus the automation and pay-as-you-go flexibility of virtual machines; these new enhancements provide our customers with more options regarding where and how they can build their Bare Metal instances.

New Data Center Availability

Previously, customers could build their Bare Metal servers in either our Sterling, VA or Slough, United Kingdom data centers. We added three new data center locations to the line-up: New York, Vancouver, and coming soon, Sydney. The addition of these new locations gives our customers more options on a global scale.

New Server Configurations

New configurations are designed to allow the Bare Metal servers to support more intensive compute workloads. These modifications mean more cores, more memory, SSDs, and more local storage with configurable RAID control options.

Server matrix

For detailed information about the full set-up updates,...

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Four Factors Fueling CenturyLink Cloud Growth in Europe

September 26, 2016
By Steve Falkus

cloud growth

Public cloud has been a part of global businesses for many years now, but there seems to be no stopping the growth of demand for innovative cloud services in Europe. The latest market forecast figures from IDC for Public Cloud Services in Western Europe suggests that the market is growing at more than 20% each year and will be worth almost $40 Billion by 2020. CenturyLink has experienced cloud growth in the European market as well. So, what is fueling the growth of public cloud in general, and CenturyLink Cloud®, in particular?

Hybrid IT Solutions

Enterprises continue to shift their on-premise data center assets into the cloud in pursuit of business agility, while moving to an Opex commercial model that scales IT costs in line with business growth. With virtually every industry being disrupted by digital innovators, established enterprises are moving applications quickly to the cloud as they accelerate their own digital business strategy.

CenturyLink has provided hosting solutions in Europe since 2002. With a focus on specific verticals including financial services, retail, legal, media, and technology, many of our clients have been with us for a number of years. Many clients started their hosting journey using Colocation and Managed Hosting services, then...

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