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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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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CenturyLink Cloud VPN Client Service Updates

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Many of you have noticed the upgrade of your CenturyLink Cloud Client VPN service, which allows you to connect to the secure network that contains your servers and resources. Read on to learn more about the service and the enhancements made with this update.

Overview

Client VPN enables users to connect to their secure isolated network. Each account has its own isolated VPN service provided at no charge. This built-in service is managed by CenturyLink Cloud’s highly trained network operation center. If you have any issues please look at the status system or contact support.

To complete the Client VPN initial configuration, simply download the certificate—used when connecting to the VPN service—or complete the two-factor authentication that we’ve linked to below. To learn more about ways to connect such as persistent VPN connections or direct connections please go here.

Current Limitations

There are only a few limitations on this service as it is based on the OpenVPN project.

  • Maximum concurrent users: 20 (if you need additional users, please contact support)
  • Maximum connection: 1Gbps

Performance and Tuning Enhancements

We’ve made a host of performance and tuning enhancements to the Client VPN service that will result in a better user experience. We decreased CPU utilization on each unique instance from 80%...

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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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    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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    When Provisioning Breaks, Blueprints Shine

    July 6, 2012
    By

    There is nothing worse than getting that email or error warning you that provisioning has failed. And inevitably this happens at the very last stages of getting an environment automated.

    You ask yourself: _What happened? Why did it fail? And then: Did I build my own logging? Did the person that built the orchestration provide logging (and, if so, where is it)?_ After asking yourself all of these questions, you realize that the orchestration/provisioning layer only shows you a simple “failure” message and no details of where it failed or why. Frustrating.

    #### With Blueprints, even failure is amazing…

    “Blueprints” is CenturyLink Cloud’s environment templating engine. It allows you to combine virtual machine templates, infrastructure tasks, script packages, and software packages to create a fully deployable environment—such as building a Microsoft Exchange server environment with just the click of a button. The other Blueprint feature that is simply incredible is the debugging and details that you have access to when deploying a Blueprint. This includes access to not only the status of the deployment, but also the tasks being executed. If something fails, you know where and why. ![](/assets/images/blog/BP-1-252x300.png "Deployment Failure") Here is an example of a blueprint being executed that fails on step...

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    Moving to the Cloud? Better Use a Checklist

    July 6, 2012
    By

    Checklists—pilots use them. So do doctors and construction engineers. And the humble checklist was the reason for a 47% drop in death rate across eight hospitals in 2008. Professionals trust checklists to save lives, but they’re just as valuable in business. That’s why we’ve put together two essential checklists to guide your company’s migration to the cloud. With our Enterprise Cloud Provider Checklist, you’ll learn what measurable qualifications to look for in a cloud computing partner—such as a five 9s SLA covering servers, network, and storage; and automated 14-day rolling backups. Meanwhile our Cloud Migration Considerations Checklist will help you assess your company’s cloud readiness and keep in mind all the most relevant details of moving to the cloud. Download your free checklists below: - Your Enterprise Cloud Provider Checklist - Your Cloud Migration Considerations Checklist

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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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    CenturyLink Cloud now supports Ubuntu!

    July 6, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    CenturyLink Cloud is pleased to announce the full support for all customers Ubuntu server in 32 and 64 bit version. As always there is no cost for deploying an open source OS. Ubuntu is now available for premium server deployment, lab deployment, cloning, archiving, and all the other features that our enhanced provisioning platform contains.

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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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    Focused on High Availability

    July 6, 2012
    By

    Being focused on High Availability means not only focusing on unplanned downtime. It is also about at passionate resolution to eliminate planned downtime. A major indirect cost of IT Operations. An article by Dell quotes “Infonetics Research study, The Costs of Downtime: North American Medium Businesses 2006, found that mid-market enterprises (101-1,000 employees) lose an average of 1 percent of their annual revenues to downtime. Even more startling, another study has found that up to 40-50 percent of businesses that have suffered major service interruptions never recover completely, and fail within two to five years.” The article goes on to say the answer is virtualization. https://www.dell.com/downloads,global.power/ps4q06-200701169-ziff.pdf

    ...

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