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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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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CenturyLink Cloud's Enterprise Cloud Turns SysAdmins into Office Heroes

July 6, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Today is SysAdmin Day, and we at CenturyLink Cloud would like to show our appreciation of system administrators around the world. To commemorate the occasion, we’ve made a comic to show how CenturyLink Cloud’s enterprise cloud platform can save admins time and effort—and turn them into office heroes.

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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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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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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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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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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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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 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 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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