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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API Documentation is now Online!

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

We have just released a new version of our API and have decided to just make it available online so you wont have to ask for it! The API has been built along side all of the features of the platform with the idea that if you can do it in the control system you can do it via our API. The API currently supports Xml, JSON, and SOAP which is far more featured than any of the other API’s that we have seen out there. Go check it out: www.ctl.io/api-docs/v2 Create an API user here: https://control.tier3.com/security/api As always, anything you need or see that we could improve on let us know!

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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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FreeBSD added to our library and more features!

July 6, 2012
By

Build 775 has gone live with new features and bug fixes the control system. Here are some of the key new features:

  • Added FreeBSD 32 and 64bit template
  • Added Windows XP 32bit template
  • Added Windows Vista 32 and 64bit template
  • Added Windows 7 32 and 64bit template
  • Enhanced Linux server provisioning where network override file was not correctly being cleared of IP addresses

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 features and fixes.

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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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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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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 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 human error.” Moreover,...

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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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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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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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CenturyLink Cloud Accelerates Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Adoption, Opens Data Centers with Equinix

July 3, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

BELLEVUE, Wash. and REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – August 9, 2011 – CenturyLink Cloud, an enterprise cloud platform provider, and Equinix (Nasdaq: EQIX), a global data center services provider, today announced the Fall 2011 opening of two new CenturyLink Cloud data centers residing within Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX®) facilities in Chicago and Ashburn, Va. CenturyLink Cloud selected Equinix for the company’s enterprise-grade connectivity, global presence and carrier-neutral environment, which will enable CenturyLink Cloud to better meet the ever-increasing demand for secure, hybrid clouds in the enterprise. The data center in Chicago opens September 1, with the one in Ashburn opening in early Q4. “To enhance their business agility, an increasing number of enterprises are actively identifying apps they can move to the public cloud,” said Adam Wray, CEO, CenturyLink Cloud. “Equinix IBX facilities extend CenturyLink Cloud’s enterprise cloud story by providing a key component our clients need for their hybrid production apps—a single, secure, performance-optimized connection. Combining the Equinix Direct Connect capabilities with our agile and intelligent Enterprise Cloud platform provides flexibility, speed and scalability of deployment for these customers.

A hybrid cloud refers to an environment where some data, applications and services are kept in-house and others reside in the...

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Plinko and Product Launches at VMworld 2011

July 3, 2012
By

It’s Day 1 of VMworld, and the CenturyLink Cloud team has finally touched down in Vegas! After months of preparation, we’re so excited to share what we’ve been developing with the rest of the industry. Curious what we’ve been up to in our Bellevue, WA headquarters?

  • Announced Environment Engine, our next-gen cloud deployment automation toolset
  • Designed our new tee-shirts (now with 100% more stick figure)
  • Announced the release of our new Client Backup app and service for enterprises
  • Played lots and lots of Plinko—best the falling puck or watch a demo at Booth 213 and you could win one of those great tee-shirts mentioned above

But VMworld isn’t all fun and games and product launches. With our solutions engineers, marketing, and business folks attending the event, we’re looking forward to brushing shoulders with the best and brightest in the cloud industry. Would you like to meet up with a CenturyLink Cloud team member at the event? Stop by Booth 213 for a demo of our Enterprise Cloud Platform—or to schedule a brief meeting with one of our executives, call Callie Sherrard at 206.724.2505 or email callie.sherrard@tier3.com. We look forward to seeing you over the next few days!

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