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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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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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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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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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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32 GB of RAM servers from the control system and multiple IP addresses

July 6, 2012
By

32 GB of ram servers from the control system and multiple IP addresses!

 

We released build 690 today of our platform and other than the usual bug fixes and tweaks we added two new features:

32 GB servers from the Control Portal and API

Now you can add up to 32 GB of RAM to any server when ever you want with no long term commit as it is just hourly. Scale it up or down when needed!

To do this via the control system simply go to the server you are wanting to change and click the edit server button. Once there it is just a reboot away (about 1 minute of downtime) and you now have the ram needed from 1 GB to 32 GB within minutes.

Multiple IP addresses to a single server

With our new multiple IP address feature you can add the IP addresses that you need for a specific server all via the control system. To add an IP address go to Networks > IP Addresses > Add External Address. From there you can add an external IP address to your server or have it assign a new address for you. Once you have added an external address or...

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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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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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The Cloud is #1 Priority for CIOs in 2011

July 3, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

It's Official

Cloud computing is the #1 technology priority of 2011 for over 2,000 CIOs** surveyed by Gartner—with virtualization taking the number two spot. While 66% of the average IT department’s budget has traditionally been allocated to day-to-day operations, according to Gartner CIOs expect the cloud to free up 35-50% of current resources to be used towards “innovation and growth.” This is good news for CIOs, whose measure of success is increasingly dependent not only on ensuring IT is efficient and cost-effective, but on “creating and realizing new sources of [business] value.” The top 3 business objectives named by CIOs reflect these new success metrics, and mirror what we’re seeing here at CenturyLink Cloud:

1. Developing or managing a flexible infrastructure

Flexible infrastructure is one of the key differentiators of cloud computing as compared to on-site IT hardware. In the cloud, storage and performance scale—and with the right cloud provider, they scale predictively or based on business rules. Additionally new servers can be provisioned in minutes, instead of the days required by traditional IT processes.

2. Delivering application and growth projects

Many CenturyLink Cloud customers are taking advantage of new business models and reaching new customers by moving their apps into the cloud. Chad Collins,...

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CenturyLink Cloud Announces Compliance with SSAE 16 Type II Standards

July 3, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

New Auditing Standards Provide Greater Independent Assurance of Controls and Processes

BELLEVUE, WA – February 20, 2012 – CenturyLink Cloud, the enterprise cloud platform provider, announced today that it has successfully completed the SSAE 16 Type II audit, ensuring that the company’s controls, processes and procedures conform to industry standards and best practices. The review was conducted by an independent auditing firm, and is effective from June 2011 through June 2012. SSAE 16 is a rigorous new standard that replaces the former SAS 70 audit. CenturyLink Cloud has been SAS 70 Type II audited since 2009 and began the SSAE 16 auditing process when it became the new standard.

Thorough, independent testing and reviews of controls across CenturyLink Cloud datacenters and other physical locations ensure the following areas meet SSAE 16’s demanding criteria:

  • Oversight by executive management
  • Operations and customer service
  • Development and information technology organization
  • Human resources policies and procedures
  • Risk assessment monitoring

By undergoing the rigorous SSAE 16 Type II audit and expanding the scope of the audits to include more platforms and locations, our customers know they’re receiving the highest standards in service and controls” said Chris Brandon, CenturyLink Cloud CFO. “This audit furthers CenturyLink Cloud’s goal of enabling our customers to focus on their...

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CenturyLink Cloud Launches Client Backup App for Enterprise Cloud

July 3, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Performs Automatic, Policy-Based Backup of End-User PCs in the Cloud; See Demo at VMworld® 2011 Today Through September 1 in Booth 213

Today at VMworld® 2011, CenturyLink Cloud, Inc., an enterprise cloud platform provider, announced Client Backup, a secure, cloud-based file recovery application that ensures business continuity for users in the event critical data is accidentally deleted from individual computers. For no additional charge beyond the storage used, customers on the CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Cloud Platform will now have current and past versions of their employees’ data available without relying on internal staff or local storage, and with no burden on end users. Most of the desktop backup solutions on the market today are meant for individual users, not optimized for entire organizations.

With a comprehensive web control panel and admin accounts allowing centralized management, CenturyLink Cloud’s Client Backup is aimed squarely at IT managers needing a complete desktop backup solution for their companies’ employees. “Accidentally deleting critical documents can be such a time waster as we search around—with fingers crossed—for possible back-ups or reluctantly resort to starting over completely; it’s happened to us all,” said Jared Wray, chief technology officer, CenturyLink Cloud. “With our new client backup capabilities, users can...

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The Right Stuff

July 3, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

By Adam Wray, CEO, CenturyLink Cloud Who should you fill your board member seat? An individual who will advance your company’s strategic vision and ability to execute. Filling an outside board member seat is a critical step at any stage of a company’s growth, but especially critical for an earlier stage company. While the temptation may be to court board members with broad industry name recognition, or company associations, this is only one of many variables to consider when targeting a new board member (and candidly of lower priority than several others). In beginning a search, factor what requisite expertise and knowledge are most valuable to leverage and how that background will integrate and complement your existing board. When we looked to expand our board to bring in another outside director, we developed a definitive set of skills and experience we felt would be accretive to our board, versus overlapping. Our two existing directors have great operational and venture finance backgrounds, so we were looking for was experience that could bring new and diverse insights, in particular around our core business, cloud computing. We found what we were looking for in Mark Adams, chief development officer of Equinix, Inc., a...

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