Configure Virtual Machines Faster with Cloud Application Manager Admin Boxes

July 30, 2014
By

Have you ever asked a colleague for a favor, like provisioning or configuring a virtual machine, only to get the response: “Have you submitted a ticket for that?” It is no secret that in the world of development and IT operations, the traditional protocol for getting things done is through submitting tickets.

In many cases, especially at large enterprises, developers often wait weeks or months even, for the IT department to provision and configure virtual machines or instances. Cloud Application Manager has a goal of making that experience disappear forever! Cloud Application Manager has developed a solution that can help enterprises reduce the amount of repetitive and manual processes involved in provisioning a virtual machine.

It is easy to blame the IT department for the lag, but the truth is, they have the very serious responsibility of allocating resources and then properly configuring, hundreds or even thousands of virtual machines. What causes a delay in provisioning and configuring a virtual machine that developers can use?

One is configuring the machine to comply with the company’s standards and policies. Another is the manual steps that have to be executed on that machine for it to be prepared for use. For instance, IT admins will...

Read on...

AWS Auto Scaling and Load Balancing Made Easy

July 28, 2014
By

AWS Load Balancing

Take advantage of automatically scaling and load balancing instances when you deploy applications using Cloud Application Manager in AWS EC2 or VPCs. Load balancing evenly distributes load to application instances in all availability zones in a region while auto scaling makes sure instances scale up or down depending on the load.

Why Load Balance and Auto Scale at the Same Time?

Paired together, auto scaling and load balancing provide useful benefits. Say you want to smoothly handle traffic surges to your website. When load increases, you want the website infrastructure to have enough capacity to serve the traffic. During bouts of low activity, naturally you want to reduce capacity.

With load balancing alone, you’ll have to know ahead of time how much capacity you need so you can keep additional instances running and registered with the load balancer to serve higher loads. Or you could manually stop worrying about it and auto scale based on say CPU usage so that instances increase or decrease dynamically based on the load. Now this should give you a good idea of why it makes sense to have both.

AWS Auto Scaling

How to Easily Set Them Up in Cloud Application Manager?

If you were to set this up directly in AWS,...

Read on...

Explaining the Managed Cloud with Three Key Equations

July 26, 2014
By David Shacochis, VP Cloud Platform. Find David On Twitter

Having been in the cloud infrastructure business since it came into existence, I’ve seen a number of different market forces shape and disrupt the industry.  The business side of my brain tends to focus on everything that’s changing.  But the engineering side of my brain tends to look for sustained constants in all the volatility. Sounds like a big data problem! Our data science team has crunched the numbers, and here are the key equations that help shape the managed cloud.

Ownership != Control

IT leaders often mistake having a tight grip on asset ownership with a tight grip on the steering wheel. With good but slightly misguided intentions, they want to own everything they use. This can lead to over-expenditure on common, undifferentiated hardware as well as under-utilized, over-engineered software products.  The own-it-all approach also builds a strong correlation between new IT projects and business growth initiatives, a situation that leaves IT permanently behind in delivering value to the business.

The critical challenge for any IT department is to provide an agility platform that addresses the digital needs of the business under competitive pressure.  The goal is to have true command and control over all IT resources, even if you don’t actually...

Read on...

CenturyLink Makes Massive Private Cloud Massively Easy - Deploy in Over 55 Locations in 7 Countries

July 20, 2014
By Jared Ruckle, Product Management

Public cloud is an important part of enterprise IT.  Why?  Self-service.  APIs.  Automation.  Access to new features regularly.  Global reach. Outsourcing of infrastructure management.  OpEx consumption.

But it’s not the be-all, end-all.

Enterprise apps will always require a range of infrastructure options – Hybrid IT – including bare metal, traditional hosting…and private cloud.

The private cloud market is relatively immature (more on this in a forthcoming blog post).  The more we looked at this segment, the more we saw an opportunity to offer customers a unique value proposition.

“You got chocolate in my peanut butter…”

With CenturyLink Private Cloud, we’ve combined our approach to public cloud with the most important elements of a private cloud.

Public cloud-style agility, scale, and automation – running on dedicated hardware with physical isolation.  Available in over 55 data centers worldwide.  That’s CenturyLink Private Cloud.

We spare customers from the drudgery of infrastructure management, while offering more control over what truly matters: everything that happens from the platform up.

For example, administrators dictate who has access to the pod and what they can do on it – while wielding complete authority to govern how the node is used day-to-day.  If an instance in the public cloud is an apartment in a large building,...

Read on...

Adding Google Compute Engine Provider In Cloud Application Manager

July 18, 2014
By

Nowadays, a majority of cloud service providers offer an API that allows users to interact with their infrastructure for the creation or deletion of resources, volumes, and images, to name a few. To use these APIs, users have to first authenticate using mechanisms based on key-password pairs.

However these mechanisms are quite cumbersome as users often have to search for their credentials on cloud provider websites or in their file systems. Besides, these key-password pairs are in the format of long and difficult chains of alphanumeric characters, which make them impossible or pretty difficult to remember. Even though the use of these key pairs is justified by security reasons, it clearly affects a user’s experience when having to access these APIs. In Cloud Application Manager, as well as in many other cloud platforms, users have to specify their credentials, in order to interact with cloud vendors such as AWS, Google Compute Engine (GCE), Microsoft Azure, VMware, Openstack or Cloudstack among others.

Our philosophy at Cloud Application Manager is to alleviate and minimize all tedious management operations which affect a user’s experience, as long as they don’t present security issues. In the following, we will focus on Google Compute Engine’s API which supports...

Read on...

Recognizing the Challenges of Hybrid Cloud – Part I

July 18, 2014
By Richard Seroter, Director of Product at CenturyLink Cloud

CIOs are adopting the hybrid cloud paradigm in droves, as we recently pointed out in a Forbes.com contributing article. As public cloud adoption continues to surge, organizations are turning their attention to connecting public compute resources to infrastructure residing in on-premises data centers. Can you just set up a VPN between the sites and call it a day? Hardly. Establishing a meaningful hybrid cloud requires considerate planning across many dimensions. How will you secure it? What does it mean to maintain services across organizational boundaries? Are workloads portable between environments? In this first of four blog articles, we’ll look at some of the biggest challenges that you’ll face as you set up a hybrid cloud environment.

What Challenges Will You Face?

Any vendor or consultant who promises a “seamless and straightforward” hybrid cloud is not being realistic. There are technical, cultural, and logistical challenges that await you. Let’s discuss a few that you should prepare for.

Security. This is usually the first item in any list regarding cloud computing, so why not this one too? As you plan out or mature your hybrid cloud, issues like compliance, identity management, and data protection will be front and center. Can you ensure data sovereignty...

Read on...

Deploying Docker Containers on CenturyLink Cloud

July 13, 2014
By Bryan Friedman, Senior Product Manager. Find Bryan on Twitter

If you’ve been reading cloud-related news lately or you follow any developers or system admins on Twitter, then you’ve undoubtedly seen the words “container”, “Docker”, and “CoreOS” written a few thousand times over the past year or so. Chatter has particularly picked up in the last few months with Docker 1.0 being released in June and CoreOS announcing their first stable release within the past few weeks. CoreOS also received an 8 million dollar investment just a couple of months ago, and Docker just got another $40 million in funding a few days ago. And just yesterday, CenturyLink joined the container party and announced the release of the open-source Docker management platform, Panamax. Developed by the recognized thought-leaders at CenturyLink Labs, Panamax was described by RedMonk principal analyst James Governor as “Docker management for humans. It dramatically simplifies multi-container app deployment.”

This is bleeding edge technology we’re talking about here, so if you haven’t heard about any of it yet, there’s no time like the present. Docker is one of the fastest-growing open-source projects ever, with more than 550 contributors and 7 million downloads in just over a year since its release. The power of Docker lies in its ability to...

Read on...

Securely Connect to Your AWS Cloud Resources

July 10, 2014
By

When using Cloud Application Manager, you bring your own cloud. To deliver the absolute best experience of deploying applications on any cloud, we are working very closely with all the cloud providers that we support – Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, CloudStack, and VMware. One of the topics that often comes up is security. Today, we’re adding enhanced security for our AWS support.

Our friends at Amazon have built comprehensive Identity and Access Management (AWS IAM) features, which enable enterprises to grant and control secure access to specific AWS resources. For instance, with AWS IAM, cloud administrators can set up password policies for the user groups, delegate user and application rights with roles instead of sharing credentials and even enable multi-factor authentication for more privileged users. AWS IAM helps cloud administrators to narrow down the user rights and grant the least needed privileges for the users and applications.

At Cloud Application Manager we are putting a lot of emphasis on security and hence we are proud to take advantage of the AWS IAM features. It is essential for us that we always comply with the industry standards and best practices of security and risk management. Starting July 11th,...

Read on...

Scale All of the Things! Go In, Out, Up, Down in the CenturyLink Cloud

June 30, 2014
By Richard Seroter, Director of Product Management. Find Richard on Twitter

Are you getting the full benefit of the cloud if you don’t take advantage of its elasticity? To be sure, there are many ways that cloud environments—running dynamic OR static workloads—can positively impact your business agility. But cloud computing fundamentally changes the relationship between infrastructure and workloads that run upon it; you can constantly right-size by adding and removing capacity on demand instead of being stuck with over-sized or under-powered environments. To do this effectively, you need flexible options for automatically and manually adjusting your infrastructure resources. In this post, I outline five different application scenarios, and which CenturyLink Cloud scaling capability delivers the optimal elasticity solution.

1. Modern web application with variable usage? Horizontal Autoscale!

Horizontal AutoscaleAre most of your internal or external facing web applications in constant, heavy use? If so, I’d be surprised! The applications that your employees rely on may be busy during predictable periods, or, experience load whenever random business conditions occur. Public web applications may spike in usage when marketing campaigns are in flight, or when an avalanche of traffic follows a social mention.

Instead of standing up gobs of (costly) infrastructure that only add value during random usage spikes, consider services like CenturyLink Cloud Horizontal Autoscale. Our...

Read on...

Deploying a MongoDB Cluster with Cloud Application Manager

June 20, 2014
By

With Cloud Application Manager, you can easily deploy a self replicating MongoDB cluster in just a few minutes. In order to accommodate Cloud Application Manager’s data needs, we rely on MongoDB clusters that run on two public clouds and one private data center.

This way we can provide redundancy, high availability and excellent read and write performance around the world. Using Cloud Application Manager, and our concept of Boxes, which are application or infrastructure components made available as a service, we can consistently deploy a MongoDB cluster in just a matter of minutes on any of our Cloud Providers.

To get started deploying MongoDB clusters on Cloud Application Manager, sign up today for our free account! If you’re interested in other resources on MongoDB, check out how you can easily use Splunk to monitor MongoDB using Cloud Application Manager.

The Basics

What is MongoDB? MongoDB is an open-source document store database.

Why would you want to cluster MongoDB? To provide redundancy and high-availability for production deployments.

How We Use MongoDB

In our case, MongoDB is using a replica set model. A replica set is a group of MongoDB instances that host the same data set. One MongoDB, the primary, receives all write operations. All other instances, secondaries,...

Read on...

Mind the Gap: Innovating in the Cloud with APIs

June 16, 2014
By

If you’ve ever traveled London by the underground tube, you’ve likely heard the station speakers announce “mind the gap.” They’re warning you of a gap between the train and the platform. But why build a curved train platform in the first place? Were the engineers not aware of its dangers?

Mind the Gap

Bridging Decades of Software Gap

Now, London is an old city. Generations of engineers and architects have added their vision to the city’s foundation. Our software industry is not as old, but in comparison has seen such fast paced innovation and reinvention that it has generated decades of software on which our modern civilization is built. As a result, the only way to bridge the gap between decades of generated software is to build the equivalent of a curved station.

It’s hard to look both forward and back at the same time. For years as they combined old with new technology–ranging from hardware to application runtimes–IT tried to stabilize operations with very little room for error. That stabilizing process has been arduous and expensive.

On the other hand, the software development process is marked by continual change. Most organizations reconciled the operations and development worlds by introducing release cycles measured in years, even naming...

Read on...

Multi-Tier Applications Done Right

June 11, 2014
By

One of the biggest problems facing software engineers since the dawn of the multi-tier application is, well, how to make it multi-tier.

It’s more than just having several supporting applications – it is about connecting the layers correctly and allowing them to communicate with each other. All this is to create a scalable and responsive deployment that can be easily updated and adapted to changing business needs.

It is about ensuring that your infrastructure can co-ordinate the order in which your application tiers are spun up, even when the apps themselves have not been designed to perform these critical dependency checks.

What Are You Looking For?

Intelligently handling your solution’s dependencies is an inherent problem in multi-tier deployments – at whatever scale you are operating. For instance,

As a developer working on a project:

“I want to ensure that my database is up and running before my web-server is deployed.”

As the CTO of a rapidly growing startup:

“I want to bootstrap on basic AWS services (such as managed cache, load balancing, and managed databases), but as the product evolves, I want to give myself the freedom to evolve the services I connect to and consume – experiencing as little downtime as...

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.