New Performance Monitoring Features for New Relic Users on CenturyLink Cloud

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

As you may know, CenturyLink Cloud has partnered with New Relic to provide a suite of application performance management tools for your applications running on the CenturyLink Cloud enterprise cloud. With the release today of two exciting new features, customers who have deployed a New Relic blueprint on CenturyLink Cloud will have even deeper insight into their applications. (Check out this page to learn more about CenturyLink Cloud’s New Relic blueprint and watch a demo on how to deploy your own.)

The first new feature in New Relic’s lineup is the App Speed Index. This removes the guesswork around the response time of your application. The data is provided via their dashboard, pulled from insights from their more than 55 billion performance metrics. This trending will help you identify where and when your application is having performance issues or if your application is just blazing along.

In addition to the metrics, with App Speed Index you will be able to classify your application into a Peer Group of similar applications (e.g. eCommerce, SaaS, Gaming, and Consumer Internet applications) and benchmark your app with industry peers. Find out your percentile rank within your peer group for end user and application response times, error...

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32 GB of RAM servers from the control system and multiple IP addresses

July 6, 2012
By

32 GB of ram servers from the control system and multiple IP addresses!

 

We released build 690 today of our platform and other than the usual bug fixes and tweaks we added two new features:

32 GB servers from the Control Portal and API

Now you can add up to 32 GB of RAM to any server when ever you want with no long term commit as it is just hourly. Scale it up or down when needed!

To do this via the control system simply go to the server you are wanting to change and click the edit server button. Once there it is just a reboot away (about 1 minute of downtime) and you now have the ram needed from 1 GB to 32 GB within minutes.

Multiple IP addresses to a single server

With our new multiple IP address feature you can add the IP addresses that you need for a specific server all via the control system. To add an IP address go to Networks > IP Addresses > Add External Address. From there you can add an external IP address to your server or have it assign a new address for you. Once you have added an external address or...

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Building Servers with the CenturyLink Cloud API

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Any service provider worth its salt has to have an API. It’s one of the first questions we ask our providers and understandably one we get asked a lot as well. With our latest release we also updated our API, so I figured what better way to show off the API that with a sample of how easy it is to build a server.

First using Visual Studio 2010 we’ll install RestSharp using NuGet (if you don’t have NuGet installed stop reading and do yourself a favor and install it).

Install-Package RestSharp

Then create a rest client pointing at the CenturyLink Cloud API.

`private RestClient Client = new RestClient("https://api.ctl.io/rest");

Now we are ready to call the API. Once you create an API user in your account you can use it to logon and store the authentication in the client cookies.

`var request = new RestRequest("/auth/logon"); request.Method = Method.POST; request.RequestFormat = DataFormat.Json; request.AddBody(new { APIKey = "b3b41e0818ad4dfdb9d43c964f680de1", Password = "plAtform6{+*" }); ` `var response = Client.Execute(request); var content = DeserializeContent(response); if (content.StatusCode != 0) throw new ApplicationException(content.Message); ` `if (Client.CookieContainer == null) Client.CookieContainer = new System.Net.CookieContainer(); ` `response.Cookies .Select(c => new Cookie(c.Name, c.Value, c.Path, c.Domain)) .ToList() .ForEach(c => Client.CookieContainer.Add(c));`

You’ll notice a few helpers methods I created to deal with deserializing the JSON response into a...

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New Relic Monitoring Comes to CenturyLink Cloud’s Enterprise Cloud Platform

July 6, 2012
By

New Relic has made their technology available as a Blueprint on the CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Cloud Platform, resulting in a simple yet robust deployment and monitoring system that is available at the push of a few buttons. New Relic Standard is accessible through CenturyLink Cloud’s management control portal or its API, making it easy for organizations to monitor end-user experiences and PHP, Ruby, Java, .NET, and Python applications in real-time. Watch the introductory video to learn more about CenturyLink Cloud’s New Relic Blueprint:New Relic has done a tremendous job of taking the monitoring to a new level. Monitoring has always been a core offering of the CenturyLink Cloud platform, but now that monitoring holistically looks at the application—the bread and butter of a solution—thanks to New Relic’s technology. You used to get network data, SNMP gathered CPU, Memory and IO data, as well as the database and its handling of queries. At that point you had to look at these disparate forms of data to infer what could be wrong with your app, finally trying multiple things to see if the pain points disappeared. New Relic turns this process on its head to provide the end user with very valuable...

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New Features, Fixes Arrive in Today’s Software Release

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

CenturyLink Cloud has settled into a nice release cadence and today marks the end of another development cycle. Our platform is being updated frequently, and today’s release is accompanied by a new “release notes” process initiated by our product management team. Immediately upon each platform release, the CenturyLink Cloud team will publish a set of release notes to the Knowledge Base. The August 1st release notes outline the six new features and fifty minor fixes that were part of this push.

Let’s take a look at two of the new platform features and see how they make our users more efficient.

Add multiple instances of the same software package to a Blueprint

Customers use blueprints, which is CenturyLink Cloud’s server orchestration technology, to model complex server environments. One key aspect of blueprints is the ability to include software and scripts in the build process. Imagine building an n-tier system environment made up of web servers and database servers. Developers and system administrators use blueprints to create a template made up of all the server configurations and software that define that system. That blueprint can then be deployed again and again with little effort.

Up until now, it was difficult to add the same software/script...

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Newly-Announced Environment Engine is Turning Heads

July 6, 2012
By

We knew that Environment Engine, our recently-announced cloud environment deployment solution, would be a big hit with our customers. After all, by automating the design, discovery, configuration, and deployment of best practice-optimized “Blueprints,” Environment Engine makes it easier than ever to roll out environments and applications to the cloud. But it’s not just customers who are recognizing the benefits of Environment Engine: now the media is taking notice, too. Tier 1 Research reports “customers will like what the Environment Engine can do,” saying the toolset represents a “significant” step forward for CenturyLink Cloud’s Enterprise Cloud Platform. A platform that, according to the research group, is built using “solid development practices” which allow developers to automate anything that can be done through the web interface via a robust API. Even technical users, however, will appreciate that the GUI is “friendly and clean, and almost has an Apple-like quality to its straightforward intuitiveness.” According to an article published by Read Write Web and picked up by the Wall Street Journal, Environment Engine “is uniquely aimed at enabling the creation and use of best practice templates… This saves costs and enables applications to be deployed faster, more consistently and with less possibility of...

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Get Your vFabric On with Blueprints from CenturyLink Cloud

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Today CenturyLink Cloud announced access to a Starter Kit Blueprint for VMware vFabric on the CenturyLink Cloud Public Cloud. We know that most of you are busy enough with your job, so setting aside time to try the latest technologies is often hard to juggle. To make it a bit easier, we created the starter kit blueprint!

This blueprint enables you to quickly deploy a small vFabric environment and be up and running in no time—without the need to troubleshoot.

What is in it?

The Starter Kit Blueprint for VMware vFabric comes with four virtual machine instances and the advanced vFabric applications:

  • vFabric tc Server: vFabric tc Server, the best place to build and run Java Spring applications, provides enterprise users with the lightweight server they want paired with the operational management, advanced diagnostics, and mission-critical support capabilities businesses need.
  • vFabric GemFire® Server: GemFire is a distributed data management platform providing dynamic scalability, high performance, and database-like persistence. It blends advanced techniques like replication, partitioning, data-aware routing, and continuous querying to help you.
  • vFabric Web Server: Unlike Apache, vFabric Web Server is pre-compiled, pre-configured and pre-patched, which reduces deployment times from a typical 3 days to 30 minutes. It has a consistent installation process and structure
...

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Control System Updates Build 672

July 6, 2012
By

Build 672 has gone live with new features and bug fixes for the vpn service and control system. Here are some of the key new features:

  • Managing VPN Max Concurrent Users): You now have the ability to control the number of concurrent users and control your costs. In our system the first concurrent connection is always at no cost and anything after that is at $15.00 / Month. Now you can go in and change this level at any time. So if you need to add more concurrent users go to control.tier3.com > network tab > vpn > edit vpn settings.
  • Two Factor Authentication with Active Directory: Now you can configure your vpn service to do two factor authentication via active directory. This will require the user to have not only a certificate but will be prompted for their active directory credentials.
  • New Templates: Added Windows XP 32-bit, Windows Vista 32-bit, Windows Vista 64-bit, and Windows 7 32-bit templates.
  • Welcome Screen: We have added your CPU, Memory, and Storage counts to the welcome page.

There was a total of 20 bugs that also were fixed in the current build. As always if you need anything please let us know as we are constantly adding new...

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New Control Panel Interface!

July 6, 2012
By

We are pleased to announce our new control panel interface with the following new features:

  • New dashboard page that shows the account billing summary and also overall bandwidth for the account.
  • Increased logon performance by 10x so that you wont have to wait for the dashboard page to load.
  • New server list page that shows the CPU, Storage Allocation, and Memory usage.
  • Server Price calculator now shows the hourly cost of each component of a server before build out.
  • and much more!

The new interface is part of a big effort to optimize the user experience for all of our customers and increase overall speed in gaining access to critical data. There are over 50 additional bugs fixed in this latest build. Thanks CenturyLink Cloud Team

...

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CenturyLink Cloud Enhances Industry-Leading SLA

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

CenturyLink Cloud Enhances Industry-Leading SLA CenturyLink Cloud has enhanced their industry-leading SLA with the following changes:

  • Incident Reports: CenturyLink Cloud will provide Customer with an Incident Report via e-mail within twenty-four (24) hours of an incident for incidents resulting in greater than thirty (30) minutes of downtime. The Incident Report will include: incident date, duration, issue, details of the problem and details of the resolution.

  • Outage Credit Improvements:

  • Increased maximum credit from 100% to 150% of fees for the impacted service(s) for the billing month.
  • Eliminated CenturyLink Cloud’s discretion in the adjustment of credits awarded.
  • To review the updated SLA in its entirety http://www.tier3.com/legal/sla.

    ...

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    Control System Updates!

    July 6, 2012
    By

    We are always working to resolve bugs and add features to the control system. This update is a major bug update and here are the items that have been fixed in this build!

    • Incorrect calculation of total server resources allocated to an account which was causing errors on server create.
    • Create snapshot button was available when it should not be.
    • Archived Lab Groups appeared in the Lab Group DDL on new server create.
    • Fixed error that occurred when creating new Accounts (no bug was created for this).
    • Added Account Alias validation to ensure that duplicate Account Aliases do not get created.
    • Fixed the DateTime display on the Lab Scheduled Task list to be customer time zone aware, as opposed to displaying in UTC
    • DNS Management errors on updating and creating aliases

    If you have any questions please feel free to let us know.

    ...

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    CenturyLink Cloud’s Enterprise Cloud Turns SysAdmins into Office Heroes

    July 6, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    Today is SysAdmin Day, and we at CenturyLink Cloud would like to show our appreciation of system administrators around the world. To commemorate the occasion, we’ve made a comic to show how CenturyLink Cloud’s enterprise cloud platform can save admins time and effort—and turn them into office heroes.

    ...

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