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 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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Say Hello to Iron Foundry—An Open-Source, .NET PaaS Framework

July 16, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

At CenturyLink Cloud, we’ve been big supporters of Cloud Foundry—the VMware-led, open-source PaaS framework—from the beginning. That said, we’re a .NET shop and many of our customers’ most critical applications are .NET-based. So today we’ve decided to contribute Iron Foundry, our own .NET fork of Cloud Foundry, back to the community as an open-source project.

This project includes both the primary framework as well as both a Windows version of Cloud Foundry Explorer and a Visual Studio Plugin for Cloud Foundry. (Video demos for the command line interface and Visual Studio plugin are located at the bottom of this post.) Because developers can run their own instances of Iron Foundry in-house or with any service provider who supports it, developers finally have a truly open, interoperable .NET PaaS solution that can be run inside and outside the firewall. And because you can run your own instances of Iron Foundry, it’s easy to have a full test, QA, and staging environment before pushing to production.

In addition, operations teams now have the freedom to choose among various service providers that meet their needs in areas such as security, compliance, availability, location, etc. For developers who are interested in trying Iron Foundry, we have...

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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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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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Control System Updates!

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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