Migration and DR to CLC: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines

April 25, 2016
By Gautam Thockchom

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 Gautam Thockchom for Sureline Systems.

Sureline is leading the way with a complete, easy-to-deploy application mobility solution that is flexible, provides the highest quality recovery points and replicates them remotely for safety, delivers zero data loss failover and failback, and provides the ability to test disaster recovery (DR) plans easily and frequently without locking the customer to a specific cloud. We're an industry leader in cloud migration, DR software, and business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions. Sureline fundamentally solves the problem of any-to-any DR and migration, enabling seamless data migration and DR from any environment -- physical or virtual -- to CenturyLink Cloud.

sureedge-migration-diagram.png

In our experience moving customers to the cloud and protecting thousands of machines on the cloud, we've noticed that customers are quite serious about beginning the conversion process. However, a lot of cloud projects are slow to start because of a simple reason -- the question of how to move to the cloud is typically not answered clearly.

In order...

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CenturyLink Cloud Price Drops: More Scale, More Automation & We Pass the Savings on to You

April 20, 2016
By Jared Ruckle, Product Owner

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CenturyLink is pleased to announce price reductions for several of our flagship public cloud services around the world.

Highlights:

The CenturyLink Cloud® Online Price Estimator, TCO tool, and product pages have been updated to reflect our lower prices. The lower prices are effective for customers retroactive to April 1, 2016. And the customer invoices delivered for April will reflect the price changes noted above.

Public Cloud Economies of Scale at Work for You

This is the benefit of the public cloud – large providers like CenturyLink buy the gear and write automation software to run it efficiently. Part of the scale we can achieve at CenturyLink with our public cloud is due to our other infrastructure services – colocation, and hosting products in over 60 data centers, as well as a world-class fiber network. This scale and integration across products is why customers look to us as a crucial partner for their Hybrid IT strategy – after all, our cloud is a platform for Hybrid IT delivery.

Cloud &

...

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Unleash the Power of the Platform

April 20, 2016
By Jonathan Townsend

The AppFog service was retired on June 29, 2018. The AppFog Platform-as-a-Service is no longer available, including all source code, env vars, and database information. More information here.

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Unleash the Power of the Platform

Understanding not only what the CenturyLink Platform is, but how to use it to get the most out of the products, services, and offerings, requires more than a surface-level view. In essence, our goal is to show you how to really engage with the CenturyLink Platform. We created a quick "Platform Overview" video to cover a wide array of our platform offerings and to show you how you can easily build and customize our catalog of products and services to fit your specific business needs; and most importantly, manage them seamlessly with just a few clicks. Watch the video below to learn how to utilize the CenturyLink Cloud Platform and transform how you deliver services to your customers.

2016 CenturyLink Cloud Platform Walkthrough from CenturyLink Cloud on Vimeo.

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Customizable Control at your Fingertips

The CenturyLink Platform is comprised of IaaS, PaaS, and cloud management features that make it easier to manage and operate resources. Users can engage the platform by using the Control Portal, API's, and SDK's. There's a lot that...

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Data at Risk – What to do?

April 14, 2016
By Justin Withington

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

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

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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

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    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.

    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 out-performed other high profile competitors in an independent benchmark study conducted by...

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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

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    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

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    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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    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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