Platform Team Hack House 2014

November 11, 2014
By @nathanyoung, Creative Director

The CenturyLink Platform Team recently spent two weeks together in the city of St George in Southwest Utah. In what’s become an annual event, the team—including developers, testers, product managers and design—stayed in the “Hack House” to work on our Cloud Platform, as well as get to know each other outside the confines of our beautiful new office. By spending the time to connect with each other, we build trust and empathy, which enables us to interact and collaborate at a higher level. We’re firm believers that if you actually like your coworkers, you’ll be happier and do better work because of it. The Hack House is a great way to forge this bond.

Some of the team at the top of AngelAt the top of Angel’s Landing

However, just because we went away to sunny and dry Southwest Utah, doesn’t mean we spent the whole time hiking in Zion National Park. The focus of the development iteration centered around new role based access controls and feature flags for individual data centers, which will be released tomorrow. Still, during down time everyone took advantage of what the area had to offer, from hiking, photography, and mountain biking, to fixing that bug that always bothered you but never had time for...

Read on...

Designing an Office for Collaboration and Culture

November 7, 2014
By Wendy White. Find Wendy on Twitter at @wendywhite.

Q&A with James Newkirk, CenturyLink Cloud VP of Engineering

This week CenturyLink will celebrate the opening of our Cloud Development Center in Bellevue, WA.  I sat down with James Newkirk, Engineering VP for CenturyLink Cloud, who anchored the team designing and overseeing the build out of the new Center’s space to get his insights on what went into the design.

Why did we select Bellevue, WA as the home of our new Cloud Development Center?

Seattle and its surrounding area are the growing center of the cloud universe. We know that if we want to tap into the growing talent pool of cloud computing experts and developers, the greater Seattle area is a great place to be.

We chose our new location in Bellevue for a couple of reasons.  First, as a nod to our heritage with Tier 3 which was founded and headquartered in Bellevue.  Secondly, was access to transportation – a lot of employees use public transport and our new location is close to the transit center.  Finally it’s very central to great restaurants – we wanted employees to have options to get quality food on lunch breaks or easy access to social outlets. We all know engineers like food.

It’s a...

Read on...

Hadoop Simplified: Managed Cloudera & CenturyLink Cloud

October 31, 2014
By Ben Brauer

Today we are excited to release six managed Cloudera Blueprints, the newest managed service in the CenturyLink Cloud big data Blueprints portfolio, which also includes Cassandra and MongoDB solutions.

The Apache Hadoop open-source project solves all sorts of big data problems, but for many it’s difficult to deploy and manage. Cloudera solves this problem by provisioning and managing Hadoop components in a manner that allows users to focus on their data sets. And now, with the CenturyLink Cloud Blueprint for Cloudera – a deployable configuration that brings the new environment online in a couple of clicks—users can take all of the complexity of Hadoop and shrink it down to one black, err blue, box:

Running Hadoop with Cloudera and CenturyLink Cloud combines simplicity, superior performance and flexibility, allowing businesses to utilize their data to drive innovation faster than ever before. By deploying Cloudera on CenturyLink Cloud, customers get all of the expected benefits of hourly pay-as-you-go self-service, agility, elasticity and governance. Given that the service is also managed, customers can also take advantage of software updates, patching and general cluster management. It’s an easy way for IT pros and database administrators to get their cluster provisioned and managed.

Making Managed Cloudera Easy

Automating a...

Read on...

Connect Your Private Network to Google Cloud

October 29, 2014
By

Google Cloud

Google is a relatively new player in cloud computing. They were one of the first clouds to provide a PaaS solution with Google App Engine, but one of the last to provide IaaS options.

One of the biggest differentiators and a draw for Google Cloud is their Google Compute Engine global software defined networking (SDN) capability. Unlike other providers, every network in Google Compute Engine (GCE) is a global network, that is, a network that spans every region and availability zone. Further, latency and throughput between regions almost defies the laws of physics. These network capabilities dramatically simplify deploying applications that run on a global scale.

If you want to take advantage of one of the fastest growing IaaS technologies in the market, how do you go about moving all your data and infrastructure to GCE? In this post, we’ll show you how to connect your private network with GCE using Cloud Application Manager.

For this purpose, we created an IPSEC box that creates a tunnel between the 2 networks using Linux and Openswan.

IPSEC Tunnel

The first instance of this box is deployed in the GCE network. It is assigned an ephemeral IP and supports IP Forwarding:

New Instance

The box is deployed without bindings, which sets it...

Read on...

Surprised by Your Cloud Bill Every Month? Try Cross-Cloud Tagging

October 23, 2014
By

Cloud Services

If you have recently received the bill from your cloud provider, you may be still wondering how you spent all this significant amount of money in cloud resources. And if you’re using multiple cloud providers (like we do at Cloud Application Manager), this problem is even more complicated. Evidently, you need to have much better insight into where your expenses are going. Resource tagging is a crucial technique to improve the cost efficiency and reduce your infrastructure bill.

Without tags, you won’t be able to confidently know what each of your instances is doing, which instances have been provisioned and which you can power off. This technique is even more important when using autoscaling systems that automatically add and release resources based on the workload of your application.

Tagging your cloud resources allows you to add metadata to your resources in the form of key-value pairs. Hence your tag-key must be a meaningful value that represents how you want to report this resource, while the tag-value should give you an insight of what you want to report on. These tag-keys will appear as columns in the reports of your cloud providers. Therefore they may be descriptive enough to help you to break...

Read on...

Surprised by Your Cloud Bill Every Month? Try Cross-Cloud Tagging

October 23, 2014
By

Couchbase Logo

A bit of awesome sauce for today — we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Couchbase, the only enterprise grade NoSQL database in the market.

Together with Couchbase, we have created Couchbase Server and Couchbase Sync Gateway Boxes for Cloud Application Manager, allowing our users to quickly deploy and run web and mobile applications powered by Couchbase technology in the cloud.

The new Couchbase Boxes are bringing unprecedented opportunities for developers to build complex NoSQL applications in-house. The Boxes make it easy to build and deploy complex multi-tiered applications powered by Couchbase Server and Couchbase Mobile.

The best part? Those boxes are already right there for you on Cloud Application Manager. You just need to log on to Cloud Application Manager or sign up, if you don’t have an account already.

Benefits of Couchbase Boxes on Cloud Application Manager:

  • Stick to best practices: Have you tried deploying Couchbase Server of Couchbase Sync Gatewaydatabase yourself? By using the Couchbase boxes, you can be sure that they are using the best practices when deploying Couchbase technology.
  • Scale with ease: You and your IT teams can now quickly launch new Couchbase Server and Couchbase Sync Gateway instances and respond to rapidly changing business requirements or increasing demand. Use
...

Read on...

Three Reasons Why You Should Use Cloud Application Manager in Your CloudStack Environment

October 16, 2014
By

CloudStack

Cloud Application Manager can help you manage application delivery on a number of different clouds. Today, let’s focus on CloudStack, the stack with the $$ behind it.

CloudStack vs. OpenStack

OpenStack gets a lot of air cover compared to CloudStack. The main reason is the strategy behind CloudStack. CloudStack’s parent company, Citrix, has executed a clear roadmap under the umbrella of the Apache Foundation. As a result, in comparison to OpenStack, its community is much smaller and the vision more targeted.

The results are more focused and, to some extent, more practical to implement. We have seen many successful implementations of CloudStack that leverage Cloud Application Manager to fully cover all aspects of a modern IT Organization.

Why Use Cloud Application Manager to Manage a CloudStack Deployment

  • Avail your developers of a ready-to-use and fully-configured application service catalog.

  • Streamline the application delivery process by bringing real-time DevOps collaboration to your organization

  • Pave the way for a future where your applications not only work with CloudStack, but with any cloud provider you choose.

  • To get started, register your CloudStack in Cloud Application Manager. You can do this with either the SaaS version or by installing the Cloud Application Manager Virtual Appliance in your own environment.

    Once registered, CloudStack will show...

    Read on...

    Calling All AWS CloudFormation Power Users

    October 13, 2014
    By

    AWS CloudFormation is a very useful deployment mechanism provided by AWS and fully supported by Cloud Application Manager. We’ve recently made some changes to our product and one of the results is a very interesting AWS CloudFormation use case – splitting up gigantic and monolithic AWS CloudFormation templates into smaller, more manageable templates.

    First, A Little Background

    AWS CloudFormation is essentially a way to programmatically define and provision cloud infrastructure, via a JSON template. CloudFormation templates can be used for tasks such as setting up VPCs, creating autoscaling groups and launching EC2 instances into different network configurations.

    Several enterprises are using CloudFormation templates to deploy increasingly complex infrastructure configurations. As a result, power users are rapidly discovering that their templates have become large, monolithic and extremely difficult to maintain.

    Why Not Just Split Them Up?

    In theory, splitting up a monolithic CloudFormation template into a set of smaller, manageable modules seems straightforward, but there are a few challenges.

    • Since these modules contribute to a larger, overarching infrastructure deployment, users need a way to specify dependencies and ensure that the modules are deployed in the right order.
    • These modules need a way to communicate with each other and share information such that one can take over where the
    ...

    Read on...

    CenturyLink Cloud and Open Source

    September 27, 2014
    By Jared Ruckle, Senior Product Manager. Find Jared on Twitter

    On the heels of the opening of Cloud Development Center, it seems timely to revisit one of our founding beliefs: the embrace of, and contribution to, open source technologies.

    We have seen open-source win in the enterprise again and again - especially as it relates to cloud computing and new web-scale architectures.  Why?

    • Many developers, rather than few publishers.  The creativity of the masses is fundamental to open source; with a diverse set of creators, a diverse set of technologies is the result.  Some of them are bound to stick.
    • No “innovators dilemma.”  While traditional vendors are focused on existing revenue streams, new players and individual developers are free to experiment without cannibalizing an existing product.
    • Low cost of failure.  Developers can download bits, and start experimenting.  If something doesn’t work out, the only loss is time.  With a licensing model, there are usually more complex business terms involved in even trying a new product or tool.
    • New business models focused on usage and support, not licensing.  The companies that have successfully commercialized open source tend monetize “customer success” and “win-win” scenarios instead of a multi-year licensing model that is likely to favor the publisher.
    • More options. Open source doesn’t always mean you are free from
    ...

    Read on...

    Can’t Survive Without AWS S3, DynamoDB, and RDS? See How You Can Use Them in Cloud Application Manager

    September 25, 2014
    By

    Configuration

    In my last blog post, I talked about how we support AWS EC2, EBS, Elastic IP Address, and ELB. In this post, I’ll cover S3, DynamoDB, and RDS.

    S3

    S3 or Simple Storage Service is Amazon Web Services’ highly durable data store that can be used as your primary data store and can be accessed from anywhere. In Cloud Application Manager, you can gain access to S3 using the S3 Box that allows users to select a region to deploy and access ports. The S3 Box enables you to provision and return end-points. Endpoints, in conjunction with the port, can be used by other applications to read/write data into S3.

    S3 is one of Amazon’s most popular services. Cloud Application Manager’s own appliance OVF is stored in an S3 bucket.

    DynamoDB

    DynamoDB is a NoSQL Database that is deployed automatically in AWS. It is cost effective and reliable with single-digit millisecond latency making it a great fit for gaming, ad tech, mobile and many other applications.

    Like S3, Cloud Application Manager supports a DynamoDB Box that you can add to your application stack. When ready to deploy, you can select parameters such as the region, port, and read/write capacity in the Deployment Profile.

    New Instance

    Cloud Application Manager also enables...

    Read on...

    CenturyLink Expanding our Cloud Managed Services to the UK

    September 21, 2014
    By Jim.Battenberg@centurylink.com, or follow me: @jimbattenberg

    Today we are pleased to announce one-click access to cloud-based managed services on the CenturyLink Cloud in the UK.

    CenturyLink Cloud managed services provide automated provisioning of operating systems and applications – check the box when you need them, uncheck when you don’t – all billed hourly.  When paired with our easy-to-use cloud infrastructure, you get up and running quickly with the peace of mind you need from managed apps and operating systems.

    Now customers in the UK or global customers using UK nodes can mix and match cloud-based managed services, public and private cloud, and even colocation – all under one roof. This suits enterprises who want to embrace hybrid IT as part of their cloud journey, as well as those who just want to leave legacy applications where they are for the time being, but have access to the flexibility of cloud infrastructure when they need it.

    With this launch, customers can take advantage of the following services from our Slough data center: Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux managed operating systems, as well as managed applications Active Directory, Apache HTTP Server, Apache Tomcat, Microsoft Internet Information Services, Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL.

    And, if you want even more assistance, our cloud...

    Read on...

    Cloud Application Manager Support for AWS EC2, EBS, ELB, and IP Addresses

    September 17, 2014
    By

    Cloud Application Manager supports delivery of applications on a number of private and public clouds including AWS, GCE, Azure, VMware, CloudStack, OpenStack, and HP Cloud. Just supporting compute, however, is not unique. Several players in the market support compute. What’s great about Cloud Application Manager is that it also gives you access to a large number of cloud provider-specific services such EBS, Route 53, SQL Services, App Engine, etc.

    Why Cloud Provider-Specific Services?

    Every cloud offers a unique set of services that are targeted to certain use cases and integrate really well with other services provided by that particular cloud provider. It would be a shame if you couldn’t access these innovative services in combination with cloud and application management platforms.

    Some great examples and use cases of these integrations include:

  • AWS EC2 integration with EBS, Elastic IP Address, and ELB

  • AWS Route 53 support for adding new domains that can be bought on AWS

  • Azure integration of Visual Studio, Cloud Services, Websites, and SQL Services

  • GCE integration of Compute Engine, App Engine, and Big Query for Google Projects

  • Support for cloud provider specific services poses a risk as well. Cloud providers (read, AWS) are constantly adding new services. How do we support them while still focusing on...

    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.