Obstacles to Better Broadband in Rural Communities

August 30, 2016
By Jessica Weber

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It's easy to lose perspective when you're working with and using technology. Something that seems so simple and fast, like transferring a file, requires a lot of "behind-the-scenes" work to happen. There's the physical limitations -- does the network even reach my location? -- and there's also resource limitations -- is there enough staff or money to make file transfers in this area a reality?

In a world where the Internet of Things (IOT) is becoming a common commodity and people in urban areas expect fast transfer speeds and instant data access, there are those outside the urban bubble, mainly rural communities, that still face a number of challenges to making fast and reliable data transfer a reality.

There are many reasons that these rural communities need faster and more reliable broadband connections. The infrastructure of a community relies heavily on the speedy communication between staff. Whether it be to put out a fire or respond to an emergency situation, people need to communicate quickly and efficiently. This is especially important in the realm of health care. Rural communities have a difficult time upgrading the technologies that would grant them faster access to health care specialists, who are most likely located in...

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Your Applications on Any Cloud, Across Many Clouds

August 16, 2016
By Ross Gray

Cloudsoft-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 Ross Gray, VP at Cloudsoft

Cloudsoft Application Management Platform (AMP) is software which streamlines the development and operation of applications. AMP orchestrates services, platforms, and infrastructures to ensure they directly meet the needs of applications, dynamically and in real time. This results in more reliable operations, productive development, and greater agility for IT to respond to their business needs. Now, Cloudsoft AMP is available on the CenturyLink Cloud Platform via Blueprint. CenturyLink Cloud works with Cloudsoft to provide agility and reliability throughout the application lifecycle, and provide users with the ability to build applications across any cloud, or across many clouds.

Behind the Cloud AMP Technology

AMP is built on a foundation of Apache Brooklyn, Clocker, Apache jclouds and other open source technologies. AMP collects and packages the open source projects Apache Brooklyn and Clocker. AMP’s autonomic policy-based management transforms cloud operations and liberates applications from infrastructure, allowing you to mix-and-match bare metal, virtual machines and containers.

Cloud AMP utilizes autonomic computing, a framework which...

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Data Protection in the Cloud

August 9, 2016
By Alexander Negrash

cloudberry logo new

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 Alexander Negrash, Director of Marketing , at CloudBerry Lab.

The evolution of cloud technology saw cloud storage as a great tool to offload on-premise storage economics into the cloud. Thanks to ever-increasing Internet bandwidth and declining storage prices, keeping backups in the cloud has become a viable alternative to traditional on-site data storage for small and medium sized businesses.

However, many companies often overlook key considerations when it comes to online backup:

Reliable Storage

When moving backup data off-site, a company should ensure the cloud storage service is reliable and cost-effective, yet high-performing.

Data Security

Security is a top concern when business data is taken to the cloud. A company's private data could be compromised if the solution lacks the right features.

Restore Capabilities

Backup data stored at a remote facility should always be set at a recoverable state, be accessible at any time, and allow point-in-time object-level restore.

Companies migrate to cloud platforms like CenturyLink Cloud, leaving behind their own IT-infrastructures with costly hardware and labor-intensive maintenance....

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How to Conquer the New IT: Cloud, Network, and Managed Services

August 4, 2016
By David Shacochis, VP, Product Management for Hybrid IT Services

The 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide was just released - download it here, and to most readers it looks similar to last year. Two vendors are in the leaders quadrant, a sole vendor in the visionary quadrant, while a peloton of other platforms rounds out the niche quadrant. We agree with this characterization of the market, and thought it would be helpful to add some clarity to our niche strategy that currently supports thousands of enterprise customers around the world with their digital transformation journey.

There is a subtle nuance to the public cloud market worth noting: nearly all the leading providers have some other line of business that complements (or subsidizes) their cloud services. In this regard, CenturyLink is no different.

As the title of the piece suggests, our focus is on helping customers transform their IT operations through a cohesive set of services that span cloud, network, and management. We’ve seen how this can overcome obstacles to digital transformation that the pure-play platforms cannot erase on their own.

Many service providers in the market are focused exclusively on innovating within the cloud services layer, and then partnering for managed services and network connectivity....

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Six Factors to Consider When Planning Your Business Continuity Strategy

August 1, 2016
By Brandy Smith

Business Continuity

Can you quantify what happens if your business goes down? Do you lose productivity, customers, or both? And, is your business going to lose its reputation?

A solid business continuity strategy seeks to mitigate the impact on a business when critical functions are interrupted. Business continuity is challenging for any organization to identify and address. There are so many factors that can disrupt operations. This can include anything that threatens a facility, whether it’s a natural disaster, a physical security breach, or a chain of custody breach.

Organizations that don’t have a business continuity strategy in place are at enormous risk. The strategy an organization chooses affects the potential downtime, which can in turn impact not just their bottom line, but perhaps whether or not they remain in business. Consider the following:

7 out of 10 companies that lose a significant amount of data are bankrupt within 12 months.

Six Factors to Consider When Planning Your Business Continuity Strategy

Evaluating What SLAs Really Mean

Many organizations assume that if they have 99.999% uptime—they’re covered. But in reality, true uptime is a little more complicated. Businesses depend on their IT systems. So reliability and system availability are significant issues whether they’re an unofficial standard, a corporate service-level agreement (SLA)...

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What’s the Big Grey Thing in the Corner?

July 28, 2016
By Kenny McBride

elephant

Has the 'elephant in the room' suddenly appeared or has the IT world merely been turning a blind eye when it comes to recognizing one of the most important facets of virtualization and cloud computing? There seems to be resistance to the inevitable and necessary restructuring of IT organizations in this new virtual, services-driven world.

Technology shifts are remaking the Chief Information Officer (CIO) career trajectory, and as a result organizations will have to evolve to meet these new demands and expectations. The increasing reliance on IT across the enterprise has seen the CIO evolve from being a 'function' leader to a 'business strategy' leader. Statements like: “We are more focused on business outcomes than technology,” will likely become the norm rather than the exception. The CIO role is evolving from a support-based position; it's now shifting to a role more closely-aligned to corporate strategist, especially in this rapidly-changing service-orientated cloud computing environment.

To get the most out of highly-virtualized, cloud-ready environments consumers and users have to rethink and realign IT organizations. Consider the typical organization of a data center, which usually contains a hardware department, a network department, and a storage department. Internal customers can no longer require separate equipment and...

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Scaling Cloud Prediction in the Age of IoT

July 26, 2016
By Ryan Kirk, Principal Data Scientist, PhD.

IoT Connect

The IoT landscape is complex and is becoming more involved and broad by the day. To put it simply, the Internet of Things (IoT) describes a technological landscape where many interconnected devices simultaneously create signals, track and record data, and produce reports and logs. These devices can be consumer-driven instruments such as cell phones, fitness trackers, smart home appliances, etc. They can also be industrial devices; for example, wind turbines, energy grid devices, freight GPS applications, or cloud computing devices. Both consumer and industrial devices operating within the IoT produce data reports that are used to drive behavior and business, especially in the cloud.

As such, cloud computing is both a curator and a creator of these large data sets. As one of one of the world’s largest cloud computers, CenturyLink Cloud actively monitors millions of incoming signals from the devices that constitute this cloud ecosystem.

As with other marketplaces, cloud computing benefits from the insights that big data solutions can provide. There are several classes of internal business problems cloud retailers face. At a high level these are:

...

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How to Build Cloud at Scale: The Secrets of Tinman

July 19, 2016
By Brandy Smith

cloud automation

The proliferation of mobile devices, rapid generation of data, and cheap broadband access (all contributing to the “Digital Tsunami”) has forced many data center providers to re-think how they build capacity, specifically public cloud capacity. Only a few of the traditional providers have transitioned to public cloud. For our part at CenturyLink in the last few years, we’ve expanded our reach to 14 public cloud nodes around the world. Each one offers a compelling mix of elastic services at a competitive price. And we are expanding in each data center constantly. Because of this expertise, many enterprise customers offload infrastructure management to us. But even as many of these businesses shift to public cloud, IT leaders often ask us about how they can run their on-premises deployments more effectively. To paraphrase “how can I bring some public cloud automation pixie dust to my private cloud deployment?” With that backdrop, we wanted to share some of the best practices behind one of our internal automation projects, Tinman. Tinman is a collection of APIs and scripts that ingests a rack of gear, then quickly transforms it into usable compute services. Tinman is how we bring new gear online, in a completely automated way.

Where to Get

...

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CenturyLink Cloud Provides the Top Price & Performance Value in Europe

June 29, 2016
By Kevin Yurica

CloudSpec1

Cloud Spectator, an independent testing organization, recently reported the results of benchmark testing on cloud performance across nine of the largest, most well-known public cloud providers with data centers in Europe. Across this group of cloud providers that included Google, Microsoft, Amazon AWS, IBM and others, CenturyLink Cloud® had the highest CloudSpecs™ Score in the test and was recognized as the cloud service provider offering the highest overall value to customers. This pattern has played out before in similar studies.

For 2016, Cloud Spectator has focused industry attention on the considerable performance variability across otherwise similar product offerings from different cloud vendors with operations in Europe - and they note that this observed performance variability directly impacts the value delivered to cloud customers. Based on testing against all the major public cloud vendors with data centers in Europe, Cloud Spectator describes three common misconceptions about performance in the cloud:

  • VM performance is pretty much the same across different cloud service providers (CSPs).

    False. Cloud Spectator netted entirely different performance results given similar VM configurations from different cloud service providers.

  • When it comes to performance, you get what you pay for.

    False. In this study focused on performance, Cloud Spectator found no real correlation between price and performance.

  • Resource

  • ...

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    The Hadoop Phenomenon

    June 22, 2016
    By Tom Coffing

    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 Tom Coffing, President and CEO at Coffing Data Warehousing.

    coffing logo

    Experts say that up to 75% of the entire world’s data will be on Hadoop by the year 2020. Yes, that’s right — 75%! This means a huge influx of data over the next several years, which translates into a huge opportunity for your organization! This means data not captured today will become commonplace over the next several years.

    What is Hadoop, Where did it Come From, and why is it so Popular?

    Hadoop was created by the genius minds at Google to analyze massive amounts of web data. It was then utilized and expanded by Yahoo! who began working with the open source community. The name Hadoop came from Doug Cutting, chief architect of Cloudera and one of the original creators. Cutting's son, then 2-years old, was just beginning to talk and called his beloved stuffed yellow elephant "Hadoop".

    Hadoop is so popular is because it is all about unstructured data. As much as...

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    Cloud Migration: Don't go it Alone

    June 15, 2016
    By Jonathan Townsend

    Migrate to Cloud

    There are many variables to consider when migrating from one platform to another. The whole process can be daunting; factors that directly affect business like associated costs, current and future states of software and data stores, and the decommissioning of physical properties, are a few of the considerations related to migration. Luckily for customers, CenturyLink makes cloud migration easier than ever.

    Migration Made Easy

    Depending on your business-specific needs, either as a new customer looking to migrate to a new cloud provider or as an existing customer who needs to migrate from a legacy platform (VPDC, OCC, CDC, or DCC), migration doesn't have to be overly-stressful. At CenturyLink, we have a team of experts that make migration smooth and less complicated. We encourage our customers to explore the CenturyLink Cloud® platform and familiarize yourself with the interface and, of course, let CenturyLink show you how to make cloud migration easy.

    Don't Go it Alone

    By getting in-touch with a cloud specialist, customers can find migration documentation with information and receive details on migrating to the CenturyLink Cloud Platform with free onboarding support. Our team of experts understand the need for companies to diversify their offerings across product and service lines while maintaining and providing...

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    NEM and Expanse Blockchain Automation Come to CenturyLink Cloud

    May 23, 2016
    By Chris Meyer, Product Analyst

    Blockchain Coin

    CenturyLink Cloud® announces new automation to deploy blockchain nodes for both NEM and Expanse services.

    What is a Blockchain and why is the Technology Significant?

    Blockchain is a catch-all term for a shared immutable cryptographic distributed database. In this special kind of database the data, commonly referred to as the 'ledger', is encrypted for security and permanently stored in numerous systems across geographically varied sites for diversity and redundancy.

    One of the top struggles of IT departments today is making data frictionless to consume by their customers, internal and external, yet doing so in a secure manner. With today’s technology and services those goals can be difficult to balance. Blockchain technology, however, can mitigate these concerns. By storing the data in an encrypted 'ledger' that spans numerous servers across the globe the data will be readably accessible at all times and secured against malicious modification.

    The applications for blockchain technology interacting with our daily lives could be limitless - from making land-records more secure and invulnerable to fraudulent behavior, facilitating secure communication between smart devices (IoT), to promoting real-time financial transactions between banks -- the possibilities go on and on. With just this small glimpse into the practical uses for blockchain, it is easy...

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