Important Update to CenturyLink Cloud Ticket Prioritization

April 17, 2015
By Richard Seroter, Director of Product Management

Effective immediately, a new ticket prioritization process is in place for incidents submitted to CenturyLink Cloud’s support team.

What is changing?

Our prioritization structure has simplified, to better reflect the type of incidents we receive from customers. In addition, the new structure reflects the different support tiers introduced several months ago.

What does this change mean for me?

This change is a minor modification to our internal incident handing process. The material impact to you is simplification of your support experience.

Why is this change taking place?

This change was implemented based on data received on submitted incidents, resolution times, customer feedback, and overall industry trends.

What is not changing?

Our SLAs and commitment to delivering a world-class customer experience.

Where can I get more information about this change?

This knowledge base article details the new changes: https://www.centurylinkcloud.com/knowledge-base/support/ticket-prioritization-matrix/

In addition, the process to request a ticket escalation remains unchanged: https://www.centurylinkcloud.com/knowledge-base/support/how-do-i-escalate-a-ticket/

Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions.

...

Read on...

Automate Like Never Before with Perfect Vcenter Placement

April 16, 2015
By Originally appeared on Cloud Application Manager blog

vCenter Placement

I regularly consume resources from the VMware vCenter private cloud setup here at Cloud Application Manager. I’m not alone in that. vCenter is the most commonly used private cloud out there. Enterprises and developers, you will see why the changes we recently made will help you scale automated deployments in vCenter.

Those of you deploying to vCenter, you know about datacenters, templates, hosts, clusters, resource pools, compute resources, datastores, and such. Cloud Application Manager simplifies vCenter deployments by abstracting these infrastructure metadata from application metadata in boxes. Infrastructure metadata is in the deployment profile that you select right before deploying. Here we made it easy to visualize exactly where in the vCenter you’d like to place your VM and consume resources.

Placing Your VM

Until recently, to deploy an instance in vCenter, you selected a datacenter and from it a resource pool and virtual network. If you had several clusters or standalone hosts not part of a resource pool, you did not see them. Now you do.

Compute Resource

Now you see even the clusters and standalone hosts not part of a resource pool in a datacenter. In effect, you can place your VM in a resource pool, a cluster, or a standalone host provided they...

Read on...

AWS GovCloud and Cloud Application Manager: A Complementary Union

April 15, 2015
By Originally appeared on Cloud Application Manager blog

GovCloud

AWS GovCloud is one of the several popular clouds where Cloud Application Manager orchestrates and automates the lifecycle of applications. AWS GovCloud (US) is an isolated AWS Region for US government agencies and businesses to move sensitive workloads primarily because of regulatory and compliance requirements. If you’re curious about the use-cases for AWS GovCloud and the value Cloud Application Manager adds, you’re at the right spot.

Amazon GovCloud targets two kinds of usage:

  • Businesses that don’t have ITAR data but want to embrace the extra security layer in this region.
  • Government agencies or businesses with confidential data that must enforce regulatory compliance and security measures.

AWS GovCloud Use Cases

I’ll talk about some of the key scenarios where it makes sense to use AWS GovCloud:

  • High availability is important for mission critical apps in Oracle, SAP, and Windows. Such apps rely on fault-tolerant availability zones.
  • High-performance computing matters for apps that process big data. They need massive clusters to spin up and process large data loads in a very short time.
  • High data volume means higher primary and backup storage needs. Such storage should meet data security and compliance standards.
  • Web applications scale with user demand. Predictable workloads need reserved instances and in times of spikes, those payloads require
...

Read on...

Ecosystem Showcase: Orchestrate Brings Database Heroics to the CenturyLink Cloud Ecosystem

April 9, 2015
By Jennifer Lankford

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 Jennifer Lankford from Orchestrate, a provider of NoSQL database services focused on developer agility.

As interest from enterprise customers began to increase in late 2014, we decided to run some benchmarks on CenturyLink Cloud and take it through its paces. The results pleasantly surprised us and should make the users of competing cloud providers take notice. Not only did CenturyLink Cloud perform consistently better than the biggest providers on all fronts, its pricing is highly competitive, and it boasts a web-based GUI that makes the user experience a breeze. So today, we’re very excited to share that Orchestrate is now available on CenturyLink Cloud, and can be deployed today through the ecosystem.

This is great news because it gives CenturyLink’s global network of Fortune 1000 companies immediate access to the flexibility and cost-savings associated with Orchestrate. The partnership makes perfect sense for both companies and especially their customers — CenturyLink and Orchestrate share a common vision for simplifying the deployment of applications to...

Read on...

Self-Serve Ganglia Monitoring

April 8, 2015
By Originally appeared on Cloud Application Manager blog

Ganglia

As an operations team engineer, monitoring virtual infrastructure health is a pretty big deal. You aim to catch and resolve issues for hardware, devices, storage, memory, network, hosts, and the like in computing grids and clusters very early on. Monitoring systems like Ganglia are a must-have for such purposes. I’ll show a quick setup of Ganglia monitoring via Cloud Application Manager that you can add to any deployment and track infrastructure performance.

In Cloud Application Manager, built-in monitoring is available as a service in a self-serve catalog for your engineering and operations teams to launch to any cloud infrastructure on-demand. Cloud Application Manager supports a wide range of configuration management tools, orchestrates provisioning on popular cloud providers, and allows teams to collaborate on deployment assets. If you follow or use Cloud Application Manager, you know that complex deployments happen much faster in a few clicks versus long hours.

Ganglia is a useful monitoring service for large-scale web applications. It provides distributed monitoring at scale for clusters and grids. It’s popular because it’s easy to set up and tracks a ton of metrics. It monitors computing systems including hardware, storage, network, and software. You can port metrics for alerting and visualization by integrating...

Read on...

Dynatrace Free Trial Utilizing CenturyLink Cloud Blueprint Now Available

April 8, 2015
By Kim Bannerman, Matthew Keenan, Michael Masterson

In February 2015 Dynatrace, a leading player in the field of Application Performance Management (APM), launched integration with the CenturyLink cloud platform. Dynatrace APM is laser focused on the details that matter for application performance, starting with 100% visibility into of the End-User transactions and spanning both Pre-Production and Production environments. Dynatrace provides integration with automation frameworks like the CenturyLink Cloud blueprints, Ansible, Chef, and Puppet, as well as many ticketing and notification systems. As cloud adoption increases across SME and Enterprise organizations, teams must fundamentally rethink the way they monitor scaling applications and dynamic infrastructure.

Some of the most common use cases for APM in the Cloud include

  • Dev/Test - Development and Test teams are moving faster than ever to support business needs, even shipping code releases multiple times per day. Reduce risk by measuring and comparing performance in every build and test in conjunction with real browser synthetics from around the world
  • Cloud Benchmarking - Baselining how applications perform in the cloud vs. their native compute habitat provides organizations with quantitative metrics to make the optimal infrastructure decision the first time, instead of iteratively guessing and testing
  • Dev/Ops - Managing the performance of applications in a cloud environment requires the ability to
...

Read on...

CenturyLink Cloud Celebrates Pi Day with Pi Day Kids Hack Event

April 6, 2015
By Kimberly Bannerman, Director Cloud Evangelism Programs

Saturday, March 14, 2015 was one of the most epic version of “Pi Day” that most of us will see during our lifetimes. As everyone knows, when stretched to 31 decimal places pi is represented in decimal notation as 3.1415926535897932384626433832795 (whew!). When truncated, 3.14.15 gives us a few additional significant digits — enough to make any math enthusiast completely irrational!

To celebrate, CenturyLink Cloud organized an afternoon for young people in our technology community — helping them learn to “hack” on miniature Raspberry Pi units and learning software development practices with Seattle CoderDojo. The event was an idea that CenturyLink Cloud’s CTO, Jared Wray had been considering for over a year. Jared has 3 boys, and they have built projects using the Raspberry Pi units at home. Once the CenturyLink Cloud Development Center opened in Bellevue, WA, the event had a home.

"These days, I often find myself looking back to my childhood and using a computer for the first time. I remember placing my hands on that keyboard and thinking of all the things that I could do and create — like wielding a magical sword. Coding is more than just telling computers what to do for kids, it is showing...

Read on...

Three-in-One Benefits of LDAP Integration

March 31, 2015
By Originally appeared on Cloud Application Manager blog

LDAP

LDAP Groups is a new feature soon coming to Cloud Application Manager. It helps sync LDAP groups in your organization with Cloud Application Manager workspaces. A team of users in your org can now sign in with their org credentials and right away start working in a team assigned workspace in Cloud Application Manager.

Consider how useful that is for your developers, operations engineers, or IT admins to access the same deployment assets and do their part in automating with necessary access levels.

You already have LDAP single sign-on support in Cloud Application Manager today. Coupled with LDAP groups, you get advanced LDAP integration. You will be able to sync with groups of any Active Directory or OpenLDAP implementation in Cloud Application Manager. Through the Cloud Application Manager web or API interface, you can directly add LDAP groups as members of a workspace instead of searching and adding them one by one.

If using the Cloud Application Manager Enterprise Edition with administrator access, you’ll find LDAP groups in the admin console. Once you sync with LDAP groups there, any user in your Cloud Application Manager organization can edit their team workspace and search or add the LDAP groups or a specific member of...

Read on...

Why Infrastructure Matters, But Also Doesn’t

March 27, 2015
By Originally appeared on Cloud Application Manager blog

Secret Sauce

Infrastructure is changing. It’s nearly impossible to design a product or application without carefully planning how it’ll deploy on specific infrastructure. I should know because in running a business that automates application deployments, I deal with infrastructure every day. So here’s my take on how I view infrastructure and its evolving changes.

The notion of cloud computing and a dynamic datacenter has matured a lot in the past decade. First we moved from the monolithic IBM computers to datacenters on commodity servers. Now we’re on the journey of commoditizing and standardizing infrastructure.

Cloud Reality Check

A few years ago, when we envisioned what this journey would look like we said infrastructure is a commodity, we called the CIO defunct and said platforms-as-a-service would fully abstract infrastructure. But look at the cloud reality now.

  • Infrastructure is a differentiating game. Though most providers offer the same things like rich computing types, software-driven networking (SDN), software-driven storage (SDS), some rate better in certain areas.
  • The CIO’s role is not redundant. She leads an important DevOps cultural transformation in the enterprise.
  • Platform as a service is only one part of the IaaS journey. Infrastructure is starting to become just like code in templates and containers.

Cloud Provider Capabilities

And the capabilities keep...

Read on...

How I Learned to Stop Worrying About My On-Prem Data Center and Love the Cloud: The Data Center Transformation Playbook

March 25, 2015
By Jared Ruckle, Product Manager

I was chatting with a CIO the other day about his goals and vision for the organization. Highlights: supporting 2x revenue growth over the next several years. Delivering a differentiated customer experience. Mobile apps. Empowering his teams in the field.

Pretty good list, right?

We went on to discuss how cloud services could help his company achieve all of the above. But there was another pressing project on his mind: retiring his on-premises data center, in favor of the public cloud. Why was this “data center transformation” project a high priority for him?

  • Risk due to location. Office buildings, no matter how secure, can’t compare to the facilities offered by most data center providers. Environmental factors come in to play as well – the threat of natural disasters and even shoddy HVAC systems keep execs up at night.
  • Inordinate amounts of human time and effort. Administering servers, running procurement, fiddling with cabling, monitoring power and cooling - it's time consuming. And there’s just no upside to it. Best case? Your team keeps things running on par with what an outsourced provider can deliver…only without the price drops and new features. Think of all the other things these folks could
...

Read on...

Go Undercover with the Cloud Application Manager Agent

March 24, 2015
By Originally appeared on Cloud Application Manager blog

Agent Architecture

It’s no secret that Cloud Application Manager performs deployments on your remote virtual machines using an agent. But what goes on behind the scenes? What makes the agent tick? Join me for a deep dive.

Though not visibly apparent, when you trigger deployments from the web or API, the agent is the software we install on every virtual machine you deploy from Cloud Application Manager. Its sole purpose is to handle box deployments on the VM or service. It executes event scripts and runs lifecycle operations from the web or API calls. By itself the agent does not contain any other logic. It executes whatever Cloud Application Manager tells it to do and sends back the logs of the output.

Agent Architecture

We built the agent based on three important principles of software architecture:

  • To be platform interoperable, that is, work on any OS or platform.
  • To be network interoperable, that is, communicate over any network configuration easily.
  • To cover a small footprint, that is, consume the least amount of machine resources.

Platform interoperability is pretty important. The agent works across all platforms on any OS and runtime libraries. It works cross-platform because it’s written in Python, and doesn’t require any dependencies.

Agent Enhancements

In recent times, we made...

Read on...

Semantic Versioning and Auto Updates: Your Backbone to Innovate

March 19, 2015
By Originally appeared on Cloud Application Manager blog

Versioning

Versioning is a critical part of software development. It gains in importance as team sizes and complexity of projects scale. Tools like Perforce, Subversion, GitHub, which attracts the most users, address this challenge. Imagine the challenge of managing version control for software automation. In the soon to come release in Cloud Application Manager, we addressed versioning challenges in a big way.

Versioning for Deployment Automation

Versioning in the context of application deployment automation is huge. For one, with a solution like Cloud Application Manager, many people in different DevOps roles across an organization need access to a given deployment configuration. As technologies evolve, so must capabilities of the applications and virtual infrastructure. To keep current environments running and stable while you improve and innovate for the future, you need to collaborate, build on top of existing configuration and at the same time preserve the old and the new.

Though features like collaboration in Cloud Application Manager help people participate in creating content, versioning is the built-in capability that helps DevOps users and organizations manage changes smoothly and track what changed, who did what. Versioning systematically controls the chaos of ever changing applications as well as the infrastructure on which they deploy.

Semantics of Versioning

In...

Read on...


Connect

    Follow us on


Start Your Free Trial

High performance, fast deployment times and intuitive management capabilities that will push your business forward

*We will send a SMS message to verify your account, standard rates apply.