Sharpening the Cloudy Arrow

May 4, 2016
By Mike Kane


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 Mike Kane, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, for Dyn.

We’ve all done it at one time or another. You know… drawing a fuzzy arrow between two system components without really knowing exactly how the data is going to get from point A to point B. Almost every reference architecture scribbled on a white board has at least one such cloudy arrow. If the information has to travel between customers and users, as well as cloud and data center assets, typically the path is usually not well understood. Yet these paths can have as much impact on service performance as anything else. The situation requires deeper examination.

The chances are, unless you’re specialized in network operations, you may not be completely aware of the nuances and challenges involved in moving data and procedure calls on the Internet. It’s time to get on it though. As your organization transitions from on-premises infrastructure to cloud-based and Hybrid architectures, you will likely find yourself relying on...

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Meet Runner, the Newest Multi-Cloud Automation and Orchestration Service

May 2, 2016
By Chris Kent, Product Owner

CenturyLink Cloud Runner from CenturyLink Cloud on Vimeo.

CenturyLink is excited to announce the launch of Runner, a configuration management and orchestration service that works across Hybrid-IT architectures and diverse cloud environments. Runner addresses the potential time and resource drain confronting organizations that want their own private clouds. It reduces private cloud complexity and administrative workload by allowing for fast and easy automation of infrastructure in any cloud or data center. It offers fast, easy automation and orchestration on the CenturyLink Cloud® Platform, as well as on third-party cloud providers and on-premise infrastructures and devices. With Runner, you can quickly provision and modify resources on any environment.

What is Runner?

Runner is automation made simple! Runner exposes an open source automation and orchestration engine as a service. On top of the engine, we’ve created custom services and APIs to enhance job execution capabilities. Runner was created to enable users to quickly and efficiently manage their infrastructure, wherever it is. Runner securely connects customers to their infrastructure whether on the CenturyLink Platform, other clouds, or private data centers, allowing for both push and pull-based communication. Whether provisioning, configuring, or deploying, Runner makes it easy to quickly create and run jobs, report on the...

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Migration and DR to CLC: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines

April 25, 2016
By Gautam Thockchom

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 Gautam Thockchom for Sureline Systems.

Sureline is leading the way with a complete, easy-to-deploy application mobility solution that is flexible, provides the highest quality recovery points and replicates them remotely for safety, delivers zero data loss failover and failback, and provides the ability to test disaster recovery (DR) plans easily and frequently without locking the customer to a specific cloud. We're an industry leader in cloud migration, DR software, and business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions. Sureline fundamentally solves the problem of any-to-any DR and migration, enabling seamless data migration and DR from any environment -- physical or virtual -- to CenturyLink Cloud.


In our experience moving customers to the cloud and protecting thousands of machines on the cloud, we've noticed that customers are quite serious about beginning the conversion process. However, a lot of cloud projects are slow to start because of a simple reason -- the question of how to move to the cloud is typically not answered clearly.

In order...

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Unleash the Power of the Platform

April 20, 2016
By Jonathan Townsend


Unleash the Power of the Platform

Understanding not only what the CenturyLink Cloud® Platform is, but how to use it to get the most out of the products, services, and offerings, requires more than a surface-level view. In essence, our goal is to show you how to really engage with the CenturyLink Cloud Platform. We created a quick "Platform Overview" video to cover a wide array of our platform offerings and to show you how you can easily build and customize our catalog of products and services to fit your specific business needs; and most importantly, manage them seamlessly with just a few clicks. Watch the video below to learn how to utilize the CenturyLink Cloud Platform and transform how you deliver services to your customers.

2016 CenturyLink Cloud Platform Walkthrough. from CenturyLink Cloud on Vimeo.


Customizable Control at your Fingertips

The CenturyLink Cloud Platform is comprised of IaaS, PaaS, and cloud management features that make it easier to manage and operate resources. Users can engage the platform by using the Control Portal, API's, and SDK's. There's a lot that goes into managing and building a cloud environment, such as thinking about the entire lifecycle of your resources. The Control Portal unlocks full functionality...

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CenturyLink Cloud Price Drops: More Scale, More Automation & We Pass the Savings on to You

April 20, 2016
By Jared Ruckle, Product Owner


CenturyLink is pleased to announce price reductions for several of our flagship public cloud services around the world.


The CenturyLink Cloud® online estimator, TCO tool, and product pages have been updated to reflect our lower prices. The lower prices are effective for customers retroactive to April 1, 2016. And the customer invoices delivered for April will reflect the price changes noted above.

Public Cloud Economies of Scale at Work for You

This is the benefit of the public cloud – large providers like CenturyLink buy the gear and write automation software to run it efficiently. Part of the scale we can achieve at CenturyLink with our public cloud is due to our other infrastructure services – colocation, and hosting products in over 60 data centers, as well as a world-class fiber network....

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Data at Risk – What to do?

April 14, 2016
By Justin Withington


Why Data Protection Services are Important

Data backup and restoration is critical on both a personal and business continuity level. From personal photos to customer financial information, data is always at risk of being lost. These risk factors range from user error to natural disaster; it’s not a matter of “if”, but "when." The associated downtime of these sudden events can cripple businesses. Those who are prepared can resume operations swiftly and not only minimize financial impact, but seize the opportunity to gain new business from competitors whose operations may be nonfunctional. The consequences of data loss can be so great that many businesses are forced on a regulatory level to maintain consistent copies of data.

What Solution is Right for You?

So you have important data that you don’t want to lose -- what next? With the myriad of choices, it may be difficult to determine what product provides the best fit for your needs. The first step in the selection process is to ask yourself “What am I trying to protect and why?”. Are you trying to ensure your precious memories are not erased forever? Perhaps you need to protect your sensitive client information from vandalism or system failure, or even...

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Platform CenturyLink: Power and Scalability in One Location

April 13, 2016
By Phil Jensen, Product Owner - Advanced Storage

Data Visualization


I work as a Product Owner on the Advanced Storage team at CenturyLink Cloud®. My totally awesome team is comprised of 7 developers, an analyst (with dev chops) named Dan, and myself. One of the things I really enjoy about being a product owner at CenturyLink Cloud is that I have the autonomy to solve my own problems. I have access to, and I am encouraged to use, all the capabilities of our platform. It also helps that I have a development background, which gives me a desire to learn tech and use it to do fun things.

My team has been busy rolling out our next generation Object Storage product to Canada and the Eastern US. After we recently launched our product for the first time, Dan and I took some time to reflect on what tooling we needed in order to track against our business goals. We realized that we needed better visibility into how customers use our product. What customers and storage buckets are growing? At what rate are they growing? What customers are deleting their data? We desperately needed business intelligence on our product.

At CenturyLink Cloud, our internal Analytics team developed an ELK stack for our product...

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CenturyLink Cloud in Australia: Our 14th Public Cloud Node is Live

April 12, 2016
By Chris Levanes, Director of Cloud & Managed Hosting, APAC


CenturyLink Cloud® is open for business Down Under.

The new Sydney location features our portfolio of compute, storage, and networking products, fully self-service, elastic, and on-demand.

Now, businesses operating or based in Australia can now turn to a single, trusted provider for public and private Cloud infrastructure, managed services, colocation, networking and support for advanced Hybrid IT scenarios. The Sydney site is our 14th public cloud node, and is federated with our other locations in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and Singapore.

CenturyLink Cloud’s infrastructure and platform offers customers an enterprise-ready path to leveraging cloud services to meet their business and IT requirements. Users can deploy a wide range of applications on our infrastructure – lift-and-shift migrations, traditional three-tier apps, and new cloud native patterns.

Key CenturyLink Differentiators

So what's different about CenturyLink's services? What's unique for the Australian market?

  • CenturyLink Cloud offers built-in cloud management, automation and orchestration capabilities to help customers enable business agility with self-service. Bundled billing and governance features reduce runaway spending or bill shock.

  • Customers can provision highly-configurable virtual servers instantly. These can then be connected to our full portfolio of Hybrid IT services– Colocation, Managed Hosting and Network, to deliver real-world applications running in across different islands of compute.

  • Customers


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Jeff Sussna Workshop- Putting the Service In MicroServices

April 4, 2016
By Brandy Smith


We are excited to present a special evening with Jeff Sussna to discuss "Putting the Service in Micro-Services". The event will be hosted at our new Development Center in St. Louis on Wednesday, April 13th from 4pm to 7pm.

Jeff Sussna is an internationally recognized IT consultant and design thinking practitioner. He is known throughout the DevOps community for introducing DevOps to the importance of empathy. Jeff has nearly 30 years of experience in software development, QA, and operations, and has led projects for Fortune 500 enterprises, major technology companies, software service startups, and media conglomerates. He is the the author of Designing Delivery: Rethinking IT In the Digital Service Economy, and is a highly respected teacher, writer, and speaker on topics across the Agile/DevOps/Design Thinking spectrum.

At this event Jeff will cover:

• How to structure organizations to reflect the kind of systems they want to create • How to use continual redesign to have organizational flexibility for effective design • How to design and operate systems and organizations as continuous and inseparable

Jeff will explore the relationship between organizations and systems. He will delve into Conway’s Law. Melvin Conway made the observation that we are doomed to design systems that mirror the shapes of...

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Symas Launches OpenLDAP Directory Service Blueprint on CenturyLink Cloud

March 31, 2016
By Jean Masters

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 Jean Masters, Customer Relationship Manager for Symas Corporation.

Symas Logo

LDAP Directory Service Overview

Symas is pleased to announce that Symas OpenLDAP Silver, an OpenLDAP-compatible Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS) product, is available on CenturyLink Cloud via Blueprints. This product highlights our commitment to cloud technologies by providing developers with rapid access to a high-performance, enterprise-scale LDAP directory service that runs in CenturyLink’s standard Cloud Servers and Hyperscale Servers.

OpenLDAP Features

Designed for Enterprise and small and midsize business (SMB) customers, Symas LDAP Database Service includes:

  • Availability in most CenturyLink data centers
  • Performance-leading directory server based on OpenLDAP
  • Enterprise-grade commercial Technical Support
  • Ultra-efficient Lightning Memory-mapped Database (LMDB) and server core
  • Full ACID semantics
  • Flexible Provisioning – choose CPU, RAM and storage right for you
  • Self-Service - scale CPU, RAM, and storage as your needs grow
  • Daily backups with configurable backup time
  • Replication option with auto-failover for high-availability
  • SSL Certificate to encrypt connection and data in transit
  • Built on enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure

Enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure is critical for database performance. The CenturyLink Cloud Platform powered by Hyperscale Servers out-performed other high profile competitors...

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Announcing Simple Backup Service: A Simple Solution for Enterprise Data Protection

March 29, 2016
By Ryan Brockman, Product Owner – Simple Backup Service


Simple Backup Service Overview

Data is the lifeblood of day-to-day business operations in the modern enterprise. IT veterans are painfully familiar with the dreaded scenario of accidentally deleting something critical, like a production database. Imagine the impact to your business if this happened and you didn’t have a backup copy from which to restore. It's absolutely critical that your data is protected against unexpected loss or corruption.

Compounding the challenge of protecting critical data is the fact that data volumes are rapidly increasing to levels that stress a traditional legacy data protection approach. Legacy backup technologies may no longer be cost effective at scale. In many industries, data is also highly-regulated. New laws regulate where backup data can reside and for how long it must be retained in archive -- adding new complexity to the data protection strategy.

With those challenges in mind, the CenturyLink Cloud team is excited to announce the General Availability of Simple Backup Service (SBS), a new Internet-based cloud backup product that rethinks the “traditional” approach to enterprise data protection.

Flexible: No more “one size fits all” approach to backups. Create backup policies that match the precise location, frequency, and retention period required for your business.

Global Coverage: Store your backups...

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Capacity Planning for Cloud Platforms, Part 2

March 28, 2016
By Ryan Kirk, Principal Data Scientist, CenturyLink Cloud


In Part 1 of our two-part series on Capacity Planning for Cloud Platforms, we tackled some major factors relating to what capacity planning is, why it's a constantly evolving exercise, and how best to prepare and forecast for future business, platform, and customer needs. Capacity planning for a cloud-based platform requires a careful look at the business landscape with regards to assessing future expected levels, and needs. Considerations such as purchasing decisions and patterns in conjunction with their associated cadences heavily impact and dictate capacity planning and implementation.

In Part 2 of the series, we're going to discuss capacity planning with regards to forecasting for different types of devices, customer behavior and process-orientated build patterns, integration strategies, and handling the unexpected.

How we Forecast for Different Types of Devices

The cloud platform is an infrastructure of connected devices of different types and different manufactures. Fortunately, there are many similarities between devices from different manufactures. For capacity planning purposes, these similarities between manufacturers often allow us to treat different devices similarly as long as they are the same type of device. There are many types of devices such as: network devices, storage devices, and compute devices. For both business and technical reasons, our forecast...

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