Data at Risk – What to do?

April 14, 2016
By Justin Withington

DR_start

Why Data Protection Services are Important

Data backup and restoration is critical on both a personal and business continuity level. From personal photos to customer financial information, data is always at risk of being lost. These risk factors range from user error to natural disaster; it’s not a matter of “if”, but "when." The associated downtime of these sudden events can cripple businesses. Those who are prepared can resume operations swiftly and not only minimize financial impact, but seize the opportunity to gain new business from competitors whose operations may be nonfunctional. The consequences of data loss can be so great that many businesses are forced on a regulatory level to maintain consistent copies of data.

What Solution is Right for You?

So you have important data that you don’t want to lose -- what next? With the myriad of choices, it may be difficult to determine what product provides the best fit for your needs. The first step in the selection process is to ask yourself “What am I trying to protect and why?”. Are you trying to ensure your precious memories are not erased forever? Perhaps you need to protect your sensitive client information from vandalism or system failure, or even...

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Platform CenturyLink: Power and Scalability in One Location

April 13, 2016
By Phil Jensen, Product Owner - Advanced Storage

Data Visualization

Background

I work as a Product Owner on the Advanced Storage team at CenturyLink Cloud®. My totally awesome team is comprised of 7 developers, an analyst (with dev chops) named Dan, and myself. One of the things I really enjoy about being a product owner at CenturyLink Cloud is that I have the autonomy to solve my own problems. I have access to, and I am encouraged to use, all the capabilities of our platform. It also helps that I have a development background, which gives me a desire to learn tech and use it to do fun things.

My team has been busy rolling out our next generation Object Storage product to Canada and the Eastern US. After we recently launched our product for the first time, Dan and I took some time to reflect on what tooling we needed in order to track against our business goals. We realized that we needed better visibility into how customers use our product. What customers and storage buckets are growing? At what rate are they growing? What customers are deleting their data? We desperately needed business intelligence on our product.

At CenturyLink Cloud, our internal Analytics team developed an ELK stack for our product...

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CenturyLink Cloud in Australia: Our 14th Public Cloud Node is Live

April 12, 2016
By Chris Levanes, Director of Cloud & Managed Hosting, APAC

Australia-cloud

CenturyLink Cloud® is open for business Down Under.

The new Sydney location features our portfolio of compute, storage, and networking products, fully self-service, elastic, and on-demand.

Now, businesses operating or based in Australia can now turn to a single, trusted provider for public and private Cloud infrastructure, managed services, colocation, networking and support for advanced Hybrid IT scenarios. The Sydney site is our 14th public cloud node, and is federated with our other locations in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and Singapore.

CenturyLink Cloud’s infrastructure and platform offers customers an enterprise-ready path to leveraging cloud services to meet their business and IT requirements. Users can deploy a wide range of applications on our infrastructure – lift-and-shift migrations, traditional three-tier apps, and new cloud native patterns.

Key CenturyLink Differentiators

So what's different about CenturyLink's services? What's unique for the Australian market?

  • CenturyLink Public Cloud offers built-in cloud management, automation and orchestration capabilities to help customers enable business agility with self-service. Bundled billing and governance features reduce runaway spending or bill shock.

  • Customers can provision highly-configurable virtual servers instantly. These can then be connected to our full portfolio of Hybrid IT services– Colocation, Managed Hosting and Network, to deliver real-world applications running in across different islands of

...

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Leonteq Enables Self-Service of Infrastructure and Applications

April 11, 2016
By Brannan Matherson

Leonteq

Solving Business Challenges

Everyday new applications and services are requested and requires IT provisioning to deliver differentiated value back to the business as well as to end-customers. Leonteq is the latest customer to publicly share how IT is approaching the challenges of rapid deployment and management of modern applications across varying cloud infrastructures. Being an industry leader in technologies for investment solutions within the financial services sector, they have been addressing challenges with disparate infrastructure resources, exploding requests for services and a diverse set of application tools.

Check out the Leonteq case study to learn how Cloud Application Manager is helping IT:

  • Consolidate cloud infrastructure (private and public environments).

  • Deliver a self-service catalog of application services and tools.

  • Foster user collaboration with a policy-based approach.

  • Being able to empower teams to create environments on-demand and manage numerous application stacks helps to increase efficiency and focus on innovation for customers. Leonteq offers a great playbook on how enterprises consider their transition to the cloud and adoption of modern application delivery. With heavy investments in their own datacenter, having a platform that leverages on-premises deployments as well as offers consideration for other public cloud environments in the future is extremely valuable. This allows them, and similar organizations, to...

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    Jeff Sussna Workshop- Putting the Service In MicroServices

    April 4, 2016
    By Brandy Smith

    collage

    We are excited to present a special evening with Jeff Sussna to discuss "Putting the Service in Micro-Services". The event will be hosted at our new Development Center in St. Louis on Wednesday, April 13th from 4pm to 7pm.

    Jeff Sussna is an internationally recognized IT consultant and design thinking practitioner. He is known throughout the DevOps community for introducing DevOps to the importance of empathy. Jeff has nearly 30 years of experience in software development, QA, and operations, and has led projects for Fortune 500 enterprises, major technology companies, software service startups, and media conglomerates. He is the the author of Designing Delivery: Rethinking IT In the Digital Service Economy, and is a highly respected teacher, writer, and speaker on topics across the Agile/DevOps/Design Thinking spectrum.

    At this event Jeff will cover:

    • How to structure organizations to reflect the kind of systems they want to create • How to use continual redesign to have organizational flexibility for effective design • How to design and operate systems and organizations as continuous and inseparable

    Jeff will explore the relationship between organizations and systems. He will delve into Conway’s Law. Melvin Conway made the observation that we are doomed to design systems that mirror the shapes of...

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    Symas Launches OpenLDAP Directory Service Blueprint on CenturyLink Cloud

    March 31, 2016
    By Jean Masters

    Periodically, we turn over control of the CenturyLink Cloud® blog to members of our certified technology Ecosystem to share how they leverage our platform to enable customer success. This week’s guest author from the Cloud Marketplace Provider Program is Jean Masters, Customer Relationship Manager for Symas Corporation.

    Symas Logo

    LDAP Directory Service Overview

    Symas is pleased to announce that Symas OpenLDAP Silver, an OpenLDAP-compatible Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS) product, is available on CenturyLink Cloud via Blueprints. This product highlights our commitment to cloud technologies by providing developers with rapid access to a high-performance, enterprise-scale LDAP directory service that runs in CenturyLink’s standard Cloud Servers and Hyperscale Servers.

    OpenLDAP Features

    Designed for Enterprise and small and midsize business (SMB) customers, Symas LDAP Database Service includes:

    • Availability in most CenturyLink data centers
    • Performance-leading directory server based on OpenLDAP
    • Enterprise-grade commercial Technical Support
    • Ultra-efficient Lightning Memory-mapped Database (LMDB) and server core
    • Full ACID semantics
    • Flexible Provisioning – choose CPU, RAM and storage right for you
    • Self-Service - scale CPU, RAM, and storage as your needs grow
    • Daily backups with configurable backup time
    • Replication option with auto-failover for high-availability
    • SSL Certificate to encrypt connection and data in transit
    • Built on enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure

    Enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure is critical for database performance. The CenturyLink Cloud Platform powered by Hyperscale Servers out-performed other high profile competitors...

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    Announcing Simple Backup Service: A Simple Solution for Enterprise Data Protection

    March 29, 2016
    By Ryan Brockman, Product Owner – Simple Backup Service

    simple-backup-service-image

    Simple Backup Service Overview

    Data is the lifeblood of day-to-day business operations in the modern enterprise. IT veterans are painfully familiar with the dreaded scenario of accidentally deleting something critical, like a production database. Imagine the impact to your business if this happened and you didn’t have a backup copy from which to restore. It's absolutely critical that your data is protected against unexpected loss or corruption.

    Compounding the challenge of protecting critical data is the fact that data volumes are rapidly increasing to levels that stress a traditional legacy data protection approach. Legacy backup technologies may no longer be cost effective at scale. In many industries, data is also highly-regulated. New laws regulate where backup data can reside and for how long it must be retained in archive -- adding new complexity to the data protection strategy.

    With those challenges in mind, the CenturyLink Cloud team is excited to announce the General Availability of Simple Backup Service (SBS), a new Internet-based cloud backup product that rethinks the “traditional” approach to enterprise data protection.

    Flexible: No more “one size fits all” approach to backups. Create backup policies that match the precise location, frequency, and retention period required for your business.

    Global Coverage: Store your backups...

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    Capacity Planning for Cloud Platforms, Part 2

    March 28, 2016
    By Ryan Kirk, Principal Data Scientist, CenturyLink Cloud

    capacity-planning2.jpg

    In Part 1 of our two-part series on Capacity Planning for Cloud Platforms, we tackled some major factors relating to what capacity planning is, why it's a constantly evolving exercise, and how best to prepare and forecast for future business, platform, and customer needs. Capacity planning for a cloud-based platform requires a careful look at the business landscape with regards to assessing future expected levels, and needs. Considerations such as purchasing decisions and patterns in conjunction with their associated cadences heavily impact and dictate capacity planning and implementation.

    In Part 2 of the series, we're going to discuss capacity planning with regards to forecasting for different types of devices, customer behavior and process-orientated build patterns, integration strategies, and handling the unexpected.

    How we Forecast for Different Types of Devices

    The cloud platform is an infrastructure of connected devices of different types and different manufactures. Fortunately, there are many similarities between devices from different manufactures. For capacity planning purposes, these similarities between manufacturers often allow us to treat different devices similarly as long as they are the same type of device. There are many types of devices such as: network devices, storage devices, and compute devices. For both business and technical reasons, our forecast...

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    Cultivating Containers: Best Practices for Gen 3 Cloud Management

    March 24, 2016
    By Carol Carpenter

    Cloud Meetup

    Last night, the ElasticKube team sponsored a San Francisco Cloud Mafia meetup with AppOrbit. While containers have been around for a while, the varied topics and questions reflect the fact that most companies are in the early stages of using containers. Topics ranged from best practices for container management at scale, to namespaces, to picking a repo.

    After some yummy Mediterranean and Mexican food (“mediterran-ican”), CTO and co-founder of Cloud Application Manager, Alberto Maestro, kicked off the evening with a review of the generational shifts in cloud management platforms, highlighting Generation 1 as being workflow driven with an emphasis on flexibility over reusability. Generation 2 is defined as model-driven or declarative with a premium placed on reusability over flexibility. Finally, he described Generation 3 as container driven with configuration management being done at build time, not deploy time. Gen 3 is typified by a single abstract container infrastructure model. Modern companies are moving towards Gen 3 cloud management.

    With this context, Alberto then explained why we selected Kubernetes over other solutions in the market as the platform for our container management solution.

    Why Kubernetes

    He then shared ElasticKube, an open source project for container management on top of Kubernetes. His demo included authorizing new users,...

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    The Path to the Platform: Build or Buy?

    March 21, 2016
    By Jared Ruckle, Product Owner

    Lego Docker

    Developers love Docker. It’s simple, fast, and lightweight. There’s even an open-source community behind this tech that’s growing at an exponential rate. And there’s a decent chance that your organization is already using Docker; 70% of enterprises are using containers.

    Further, Docker usage is serious business, notes Donnie Berkholz, Research Director at 451 Research (slide 13 of the deck):

    Not Just a Toy

    Build or Buy

    For organizations considering the next step in their evolution toward cloud-native development, a new choice emerges: Build on my current container usage today and advance it into a Platform with internal resources, or look outside my organization to buy these capabilities?

    These two options are summarized nicely by Sam Ramji, CEO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation. Cloud Foundry is represented as the Platform option on the left. The Do It Yourself option on the right features the Kubernetes/Mesos approach to Docker.

    Build or Buy

    Each option offers a thoughtful ways to embrace the 4 principles that will shape the future of IT. Both choices:

    • Are based on open-source.
    • Embrace the elastic, cheap compute of the public cloud (and private cloud where required).
    • Offer significant abstraction, keeping IT out of the guts of the stack. Some assembly is required to get to this point for the "Do It Yourself" path,
    ...

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    FlexSecure: Strong Authentication Made Easy

    March 16, 2016
    By Sid Prasanna

    FlexSecure LogoPeriodically, we turn over control of the CenturyLink Cloud blog to members of our certified technology Ecosystem to share how they leverage our platform to enable customer success. This week’s guest author from the Cloud Marketplace Provider Program is Sid Prasanna, CEO of FlexSecure Inc.(www.flexsecure.co).

    As cyber attacks and data breaches continue to make headlines, Security-as-a-Service offerings are becoming more valuable by the day. In the IT world, there is now a fundamental understanding that any business with an on-line presence needs to think about data security for both their business and their customers. FlexSecure has joined with the CenturyLink Cloud Marketplace to make the process of providing robust, solid, and capable authentication easy and painless for any customer, regardless of their technical abilities.

    Solution Overview

    The FlexSecure platform enables organizations of all sizes to choose and combine user authentication solutions based on the individual needs of their company. Companies and developers can add pin and passwordless security to their existing authentication mechanisms. Users can also change authentication methods in near real-time through an easy-to-use interface.

    FlexSecure Diagram

    Layered Security

    Some of FlexSecure's primary advantages are:

    Custom user and device authentication: The authentication standards can be "turned up or down" to suit the needs of the users. For...

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    Ecosystem: Easy Solutions to Cloud Complexity

    March 15, 2016
    By Jeff Meacham

    Cloud Complexity

    CenturyLink Cloud has an impressive track record over the past few years of delivering new features and functionality to its platform. To wit: Frost & Sullivan recently recognized CenturyLink as its Company of the Year for the North American Cloud Industry. The report details how CenturyLink is meeting the needs of the next generation of technical and line-of-business cloud users. CenturyLink Award

    One aspect of CenturyLink Cloud’s approach worth highlighting is the simplicity of deploying add-on tech to complete a complex, hybrid cloud solution.

    CenturyLink Ecosystem

    CenturyLink introduced its Partner Ecosystem in early 2015. Since then, partners have introduced over 200 solutions that solve specific business needs.

    What’s more, these solutions can be deployed instantly by using CenturyLink’s built-in orchestration framework called Blueprints. Blueprints are pre-packaged workflows that can be defined and re-played at any time on the platform. Custom configuration settings are entered in minutes during deployment. Blueprint Framework

    How can this Ecosystem work for you? Let’s start with Disaster Recovery (DR), a common workload for enterprises just beginning their cloud journey. Public cloud is great for DR for three key reasons:

    • No CapEx: No new capital outlays are required in the form of new hardware or a build-out of a secondary data center.
    • Easy to Get Started: Point-and-click to
    ...

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