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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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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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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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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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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Moving to the Cloud? Better Use a Checklist

July 6, 2012
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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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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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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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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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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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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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