ChemPoint.com Selects CenturyLink Cloud for Continuous Innovation and Growth

July 3, 2012
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_CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise platform provides the security, stability, efficiency _ and flexibility needed to support ChemPoint’s continuous application development BELLEVUE, Wash., June 23, 2011—ChemPoint.com, the leading e-distributor of specialty and fine chemicals in Europe and North America, has selected enterprise cloud platform company CenturyLink Cloud as its IT infrastructure services partner. ChemPoint conducted an evaluation of multiple offerings before choosing CenturyLink Cloud for its innovation and growth potential. According to ChemPoint, CenturyLink Cloud’s platform provides the security, stability, efficiency and flexibility needed to support the company’s continuous application development and business growth. “While our innovative applications platform has continued to evolve and provide a strong leadership position within our industry, our underlying infrastructure hasn’t kept pace over the past few years,” said Jeff Trimble, vice president of operations and technology at ChemPoint. “The move to CenturyLink Cloud expands our infrastructure capabilities and creates tremendous flexibility. This allows us to focus our technology resources on the differentiating elements that drive our business.” Jared Wray, chief technology officer of CenturyLink Cloud, noted, “Companies moving their applications online need to feel completely confident that their information is secure and quickly accessible at all times. We built our enterprise cloud platform with...

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Channel IQ Selects CenturyLink Cloud's Enterprise Cloud Platform

July 3, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

BELLEVUE, Wash., April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/—CenturyLink Cloud, an enterprise cloud platform company, today announced that Channel IQ, the leading provider of online pricing intelligence and channel management solutions, has selected the company’s self-optimizing enterprise infrastructure to run its mission-critical applications and services. Channel IQ, which provides manufacturers and retailers real-time, on-demand applications for product pricing visibility within online sales channels, spent a year evaluating and testing different infrastructure providers before selecting CenturyLink Cloud for its agile platform that delivers all the benefits of cloud computing without the associated risks and performance compromises seen with other solutions. “We were looking for a utility-based model that would scale with our business as it grew and also allow us the freedom to focus on our core business—namely, our customers,” said Wes Shepherd, founder and CEO of Channel IQ. “The CenturyLink Platform provides the speed and performance, enterprise level security, and availability in a mission-critical environment that we can trust.” With more than 60 brand name manufacturing and retailing customers using Channel IQ to provide visibility into online channels, pricing and competition, Channel IQ needed a cloud platform provider it could trust to scale with dynamic pricing environments and its rapidly growing enterprise customer...

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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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Building a Federated Cloud: CenturyLink Cloud’s Cloud Software as a Service Vision

July 3, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Today we announced a significant shift in CenturyLink Cloud’s business model: in addition to offering our cloud “as a service” directly to enterprise customers around the globe, we are now offering our cloud software platform to service providers to enable them to stand up their own cloud services based on CenturyLink Cloud’s enterprise cloud platform.

With more than five years of innovative engineering built in, the enterprise-grade features and high performance characteristics have set CenturyLink Cloud’s cloud platform apart in the market. The power of this platform will be further amplified when it’s served as a global elastic fabric of cloud services – a growing footprint of federated, connected nodes that work in harmony to enable HA, DR and geo-specific services. Today we’ve announced a service delivery model, in conjunction with service provider partners, which enables just that.

Fast path to cloud revenue for midsize service providers around the world

The current cloud ecosystem is diverse and complex—and cloud customers are left to negotiate divergent services and service level agreements across providers. Accordingly there is real value and competitive advantage to be gained by those service providers who can easily provide comprehensive, global, yet easily managed and consumed cloud offerings to their...

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Seattle Tech Scene is Hot, So We’re Cooling off with a Round of Golf

July 3, 2012
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We’ve had a cooler-than-normal summer, but tech is clearly hot in Washington! (Check out this recent TechFlash article, where our CEO Adam Wray says there’s a “quarter of a trillion dollars” waiting on the sidelines for enterprise cloud computing alone.) Demand alone, however, doesn’t suddenly create a successful startup culture, as shown by Gist’s terrific Seattle tech scene infographic. Engineering talent, professional service providers, and locally-focused investors—like our own funding partners Madrona Venture Group and Ignition Partners—are just a few of the key ingredients that have helped make Washington a hotbed of innovation over the years. As a new way to contribute to the vibrant local business community that we serve and interact with everyday, CenturyLink Cloud recently joined the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), and we’re looking forward to brushing up on our chip shot at their annual golf open on July 25th. Want to meet the team? Come say hello—we’ll be the cloud guys with balloons full of great prizes at Hole 6. See you out on the green!

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Simplifying the Enterprise

July 3, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Make it simple. It sounds easy, but it’s surprisingly challenging. As Creative Director and UI Designer for CenturyLink Cloud, I’m charged with taking the complex tasks and concepts of managing a business’ IT infrastructure, and defining the interface that allows our customers to control it. Over the past year or so, you’ve probably noticed the CenturyLink Cloud Control Portal interface has evolved as new features have rolled out, or improvements to existing functionality have been implemented.

Typically, managing an infrastructure requires interacting with a lot of different tools, from load balancers and hypervisors, to firewall systems and monitoring software, not to mention the developer environment for your app. These systems allow you to control your infrastructure down to the last detail. However, with that control comes great complexity, and the interfaces of some these products can be quite challenging to use to say the least. Just because a product is designed for the enterprise, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have a consumer level of simplicity to use it.

Many times, it feels as if the interface for enterprise-level products is an afterthought, when in fact it should be one of the first areas of focus. It is after all, a key touchpoint to...

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Congrats to Our Amazing Customer – XSP CTO Dan Retzer! Named “Protostar” in SuperNova Competition

July 3, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Congratulations are in order: Dan Retzer, the Managing Director and CTO of our customer and partner XSP, today was named a Constellation “Protostar” (probably the coolest award name we’ve ever heard) for “successfully apply[ing] emerging and disruptive technologies” within the company. Long recognized as the leader in automated end-to-end corporate Actions solutions, XSP became a semifinalist in the award’s Cloud Computing category by migrating its datacenter to CenturyLink Platform. Retzer’s cloud initiative included moving the complete production/build floor consisting of its source code repository, build tools (Cruise Control/SVN/Tortoise), and SCM systems to the cloud. The migration also included the XSP labs (Windows Server/SQL Server), document repository, and mission-critical file servers. According to Retzer, “Moving our infrastructure to the Cloud has given XSP a tremendous competitive advantage, from both an internal operations and client servicing perspective… CenturyLink Cloud was the only player in the space that offered a pure “Platform as a Service” cloud approach to infrastructure virtualization. We chose CenturyLink Cloud because they had the optimal blend of agility and scalability that we were looking for. It wasn’t just about picking a partner to rent us hardware or offer to manage it – we needed someone as forward-thinking as ourselves...

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10 Considerations For Cloud SaaS

July 3, 2012
By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

Note: Added in the text of the original 2011 article published at TechRepublic.

Beyond the business challenges of serving customers in new ways online, independent software vendors (ISVs) planning to take their applications online must make critical architectural and platform choices to ensure they deliver the best customer experience possible. Consider these 10 things before you make the move.

1: How much do you really need to rebuild?

Must you rewrite your application to achieve a multi-tenancy application layer — a costly undertaking — or are there easier and less expensive ways to achieve multi-tenancy in the cloud?

2: What kind of uptime and disaster recovery do your end customers need?

Many cloud environments are built for economy and scale but as we’ve seen recently, they lack the fault tolerance and redundancy to enable you to pass an enterprise level SLA to your customers. Make sure that your cloud platform is built for the enterprise — five 9s availability SLAs should cover not only servers but also network and storage (all the layers to power the full environment). In addition, when outages happen, ensure that the mean time to recovery track record is strong. How fast the cloud can recover is key.

3: How can you...

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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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