By design, clicking the “Make Managed” button while configuring a server is very simple. It may be hard to believe, but that effortless task activates thousands of trained technicians, worldwide, to help you with your server (and you’re only paying them pennies per hour!). Everything after that – the ongoing support - should be as effortless as clicking that button.
Think of all the data a technician must consider to serve a customer: sales data, product data, customer data, network, monitoring, communication, change management, performance, and incident histories, just to name a few. The challenge is to funnel all that information to the technician supporting you in a way that makes sense. We’ve lived up to that challenge for years, but at CenturyLink, we are constantly striving to do a better job for our customers.
Our Operations team creates and updates internal tools that allow them to serve our customers in the best ways possible. They utilize customizable tools which enable them to respond quicker, more efficiently, and with greater impact. Here are some recent updates that we made to our tools so that we can continue to improve our service.
Recent improvements to our monitoring solution eliminate waste and streamline processes. For example, in our previous version monitors for CPU usage on virtual machines caused hundreds of needless cases to be generated every month. As technology changes, monitoring tools have to adapt; our new CPU usage monitors ensure that our team has only the most reliable information.
Also, the monitoring team has developed an intelligent tool that aggregates information from multiple databases. Within a single pane, the responding help desk technician can see valuable information such as the details of a related order, maintenance activities, and precisely how you, the client, want them to respond to your incident. It also allows for a sanity-check of alerts. Using the CenturyLink Cloud API, technicians can verify the real-time status and power state of a server. This is helpful when the service desk receives an alert regarding an outage. Determining whether that outage notification is caused by a harmless network anomaly or a real server outage is crucial.
Our proprietary triage tool allows agents to put incidents in the hands of subject-matter experts much more quickly. CenturyLink is a vast organization, with many great resources. Ensuring that customer issues are directed into the right hands is what our Client Response Center is called upon to do. Via a wizard-like interface, technicians can reliably and intuitively figure out the right team for the job. It also helps us learn from each escalation. A record of the logical path the user took before coming to a conclusion about how to escalate is kept in each incident. If improvements are needed, quality engineers can analyze the paths and determine if the triage tool could be made more intuitive. This way, we allow for continuous iterations of improvement.
Although not specific to CenturyLink, Advanced Patching has been a product that has long been enabled for CenturyLink Hosting products. Advanced Patching allows our customers to customize proactive patch policies to cater to different application installs or different server types. You decide which patches we should apply. How broadly policies are applied can be customized and fine-tuned. Advanced Patching is distinct from standard patching. Both are available to all managed customers, but due to the nature of the product, enabling Advanced Patching on CenturyLink Cloud servers requires customers to request an Advanced Services engagement with their sales representative. Automated aspects of this service include a pre-patch health check, alert suppression, services check, application of the patches, necessary reboots, and post-patch health and configuration checks.
If you are looking for a fast, effective way to keep your environment healthy, CenturyLink Cloud Managed OS boasts industry-leading capabilities to do so.