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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Automated provisioning of VPN

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Today we released automated provisioning of vpn services for our users. This is very exciting as it is part of our total goal of full automation and self servicing on our platform. Now with a single click of creating your server we will build out your VPN services without any configuration or setup from you all on demand. We have been working on this for a while and have been using this product under the covers which up until now was just for testing. If you already have VPN services with us then you will migrated over the next 6 months and someone from your account team will contact you. Here is a quick run down of the features:

  • No configuration required! All of the routing and setup is done for you automatically!
  • Works with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux
  • First concurrent user is free!
  • It will automatically build out your vpn server when you build your first server.
  • You can add or remove users via the control system
  • Only 25.00 per concurrent user and bandwidth costs per month.
  • Each customer gets their own instance which gives better performance and isolation than traditional models.
  • It is based on standard Open VPN which is widely tested and supported.
  • Can
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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 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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    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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    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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    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 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 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 data with all the...

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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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    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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    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 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 across
    ...

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    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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    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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