As comedian Louis C.K. put it, everything is amazing right now. Companies serve a worldwide audience by deploying apps almost anywhere in minutes, collect unprecedented amounts of data by processing hundreds of millions of events without breaking a sweat, and design resilient systems that quickly adapt to changing usage patterns and unplanned disruptions.
With all this power, comes complexity. The era of simple two-tier, single-technology apps is over. To achieve the scale and performance needed to solve modern problems and differentiate your company from competitors, developers often create powerful distributed systems made up of ephemeral containers running single function microservices based on cutting edge open source software, and all of it deployed via automation. Even if you’re not doing all of those things right now, your applications and services rarely fit neatly into a single host. What you need, is a platform that offers the optimal host for each component of your system.
That’s our focus at CenturyLink — but more on that in a moment.
Let’s look at an example. A typical business system has a number of components that comprise the overall solution. In the case below, a mobile user comes into the system via an app that leverages an API offered by the company. That API gateway needs to be scalable and highly available. The API retrieves lists of houses/rentals from a high performing database that needs a flexible schema to account for evolving data structures. Customers can also use a web front-end app that shows listings. There’s a larger database that stores customer records, and a set of internal apps used to manage housing listings, track disclosure compliance, and run billing cycles. Additionally, developers have an elastic development/testing/staging environment to work on pre-production versions of this entire system. I’d be willing to bet that you have systems that look similar, albeit with countless variations to account for your application integration processes, line-of-business systems, file storage repositories, and more.
Can everything in that system, above, fit into Docker containers? Probably not. What about virtual machines? Maybe, but that results in extra overhead for apps that don’t need it. How about physical servers? No, not enough elasticity to address the dynamic aspect of a few components. What you need is the option to run each component in the place that addresses its performance, functionality, and isolation needs, and ideally you could do it without compromising manageability!
As of today, CenturyLink offers a single, integrated platform that gives you the power to run each component of your system in the optimal service. Today, we’re releasing Bare Metal Servers, AppFog, WordPress Hosting, and much more. For additional info, take look at our release notes.
For the example system above, you might run the API service in AppFog so that you have a quickly scaled, highly available service with built-in support for Java, Node.js, Go, PHP, and more.
Our Orchestrate NoSQL database is a great fit for the flexible listings database, and you could run the large relational database on Bare Metal Servers. The front-end web application should run in our new WordPress service and take advantage of the quick development time and rich ecosystem. The listings business application would run well in an elastic virtual environment with a managed web server, and the billing/compliance systems might be best in CenturyLink Private Cloud.
This is a powerful hybrid story that doesn’t force you to sacrifice supportability to get the optimal runtime for each service in your system. Sign up for CenturyLink Cloud today, and embrace the freedom of a complete, integrated platform!