CenturyLink Cloud Automates Deployment of Complex, “Best Practice” Environments into

July 16, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Toolset creates best practice-optimized, reusable “Blueprints” of complex environments for automated deployment and IT self-service delivery models

BELLEVUE, Wash.—August 24, 2011—CenturyLink Cloud, Inc., an enterprise cloud platform provider, today announced the Environment Engine, a platform agnostic toolset that automates the design and deployment of complex environments and applications onto the CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Cloud. From network and storage layer all the way through OS and application, the toolset turns complex environments into best practice-optimized, reusable “Blueprints” for deployment via new IT self service delivery models. The company also announced an initial, robust set of cross-platform Blueprints that CenturyLink Cloud will make available to its Enterprise Cloud Platform customers at launch. While third-party scripting tools automate only at the top (application deployment) or bottom (server image configuring) of the platform stack, the CenturyLink Cloud Environment Engine (see datasheet and demo) integrates these functions into a simple toolset built to interface with every aspect of the CenturyLink Cloud cloud platform.

The Environment Engine toolset consists of a Blueprint Designer, Blueprint Library and Blueprint Builder that together create a seamless automation workflow to manage creation and storage of Blueprints as well as discovery and rapid deployment of these tested configurations. “Deploying complex environments and applications...

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Tier3 Contributes .NET Framework Support for Cloud Foundry™ Platform as a Service to the Open Source

July 16, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Iron Foundry” fills PaaS market gap for popular enterprise developer framework, accelerating cloud deployment for mission-critical enterprise applications

BELLEVUE, Wash.—December 13, 2011— CenturyLink Cloud, Inc., the enterprise cloud platform provider, today announced that has contributed to the open source community a .NET Framework implementation of the Cloud Foundry™ Open Platform as a Service (Paas). Named Iron Foundry, this contribution gives the industry’s fastest growing open source PaaS an implementation based on the popular development framework, .NET.

CenturyLink Cloud’s Iron Foundry contribution consists of the three key components required for developers to quickly leverage the open source project for their own PaaS implementation or to leverage Iron Foundry to deploy applications to the cloud immediately. In addition to a core .NET Framework fork of Cloud Foundry, which CenturyLink Cloud is committing to keep it in synch with the main Cloud Foundry branch, developers can also access IronFoundry.org for both a Windows version of Cloud Foundry Explorer as well as a Visual Studio Plugin for Cloud Foundry. CenturyLink Cloud will also make the core code available on GitHub under an Apache 2.0 license.

At CenturyLink Cloud, we believe that PaaS is so universal and so foundational to the adoption of cloud for web applications that...

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CenturyLink Cloud Expands Enterprise Platform with Multi-Framework Platform

July 16, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

New Platform and Database Services Join CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Infrastructure Service, Setting New Bar for Comprehensive Cloud Platforms

BELLEVUE, Wash. — May 8, 2012 ― CenturyLink Cloud, Inc., the enterprise cloud platform company, today announced the next release of the CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Cloud Platform, now with the industry’s most comprehensive set of enterprise-grade cloud services in a single consolidated platform. The CenturyLink Cloud cloud now features Platform as a Service, a multi-framework enterprise platform as a service (PaaS) and Data Fabric, a high availability database as a service (DbaaS).  These services join the company’s existing enterprise-grade infrastructure services for a powerful, first-of-a-kind combination that enables businesses to accelerate “greenfield” application development and deliver critical legacy business systems in one cloud platform.

Businesses around the world today rely on CenturyLink Cloud’s Enterprise Cloud – a VMware vCloud® Powered Service -  to run their back office and line of business applications in a secure virtual private cloud, counting on the platform’s availability, security, performance and built-in disaster recovery capabilities. Now with CenturyLink Cloud’s multi-language (“polyglot”) Platform as a Service, businesses gain the application development and deployment agility of cloud-based on-demand runtime environments, enabling developers to focus on business innovation without sacrificing stringent enterprise...

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A Look at Platform as a Service Application Monitoring

July 16, 2012
By

New Relic has become a real leader in website performance analytics, and CenturyLink Cloud is thrilled to incorporate this service, for free, into our Platform as a Service service. For each application deployed to Platform as a Service, regardless of the language/framework that the application was written in, New Relic captures deep information about response time, throughput and more. While we’ve put some of the most interesting statistics directly in the CenturyLink Cloud Control Panel for at-a-glance viewing, we also enable you to drill right through to the New Relic site and discover even more valuable metrics. In this post, we’ll take a quick look at how we’ve incorporated New Relic’s monitoring data into the CenturyLink Cloud Control Portal.

Previously, Platform as a Service users had a simple set of metrics about their running application(s) that included how much memory, CPU and storage was allocated for a given application. ![Platform as a Service Control Portal](/assets/images/blog/2012.06.NewRelicIntegration01.png) This resource allocation information is important, but application owners also REALLY want to know how well an application is performing for their users! The **brand new Control Panel dashboard** shows a subset of the New Relic metrics that begin to give you a picture of an application’s health. ![New...

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Continuous Integration and Delivery

July 16, 2012
By

Why Continuous Integration and Delivery?

Did you know that Amazon.com is updated every few seconds? Yeah, that’s right. While you were shopping, Amazon.com’s Dev Team probably pushed new software to take add features, capabilities, display products or analyze the activity on the site. Everyday Etsy also deploys multiple times with minor and even major fixes and changes. Both of these companies, along with a growing number, while doing high transaction e-commerce and other important business, follow a continuous delivery process.

The most successful development teams use continuous integration and delivery. This has become a leading practice to build high quality, reliable and well respected software. Your team may not need to deploy everyday or you may not need to update a website every few seconds. But in the end, your team delivers a product or service of some type. Continuous Integration and Delivery is a key element of what makes high expectation software development possible.

Where We’re Going…

Over the next few weeks we’re going to take a look at building out a development environment in CenturyLink Cloud that follows the key principles behind continous integration and move eventually to continuous deployment. Before we start move into the deep technical topics, I’ll cover exactly what...

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Making it Even Easier for Our Customers to Deploy Hybrid Cloud

July 16, 2012
By

Manual environment deployments can be time-consuming and expensive. Over the years we’ve felt our customers’ frustrations: enterprise IT departments trying to be more agile in the face of business demands; ISVs that need faster time-to-money; Systems Integrators that are bogged down in repetitive work. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce the launch of Environment Engine, a toolset that automates environment and application deployments to the enterprise cloud using “Blueprints.” Blueprints contain the DNA of an environment—from host configurations, to firewall and load balancing rules, to any applications running on top. (And yes, before you ask, these tools are completely free to use for all CenturyLink Cloud customers.) With Environment Engine, the elusive IT-as-a-Service is no longer a myth. Now IT pros can create best practice-optimized Blueprints that others can use later to deploy complex applications and environments on-demand. Rollout times drop from days or weeks to hours or minutes, and because deployments are automated across the whole technology stack, build-outs are consistent and leave little room for pesky human errors. So how exactly does all of this work? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty… 1. Using the Blueprint Designer, a technical expert can create Blueprints that include host and network configurations;...

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CenturyLink Cloud Creates Federated Cloud, Welcomes CFN Services as Partner

July 8, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

First-of-a-Kind Federation Offers New Cloud Business Models to Providers Serving the Enterprise Market

BELLEVUE, Wash. — February 21, 2012 ― CenturyLink Cloud, Inc. today made its Enterprise Cloud Platform (ECP) – enterprise-grade, virtual private cloud software – available to the service provider market, creating the CenturyLink Cloud Federated Cloud. CFN Services, a leading provider of high performance network and application delivery solutions, is the first CenturyLink Cloud Federated Cloud partner. CFN Services will leverage the CenturyLink Cloud platform to create a Global Financial Services Cloud (also announced today) and offer cloud services to the broader enterprise market.

With the CenturyLink Cloud Federated Cloud, CenturyLink Cloud is now offering a global fabric of elastic cloud services created through the federation of service provider nodes all running the CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Cloud Platform. To join the federation, a service provider brings a node anywhere in the world to be managed by CenturyLink Cloud. These service provider-owned, CenturyLink Cloud-managed nodes then work in federation with existing CenturyLink Cloud nodes, enabling service providers to immediately offer enterprise-grade, virtual private cloud. This first-of-a-kind model allows providers to serve the enterprise market with the ideal combination of their own local solutions, sales and support, coupled with enterprise-class cloud...

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Control System Updates Build 672

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

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 CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

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 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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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 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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