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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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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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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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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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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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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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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