Regular readers of our release notes know we now detail enhancements across a broad range of services, beyond what’s included in our flagship public cloud services.

This shift has a practical benefit to customers, since the vast majority of what we build is available via self-service and on-demand. Online documentation is crucial to enabling our customers with these new capabilities.

Here are a few highlights of our May release, grouped by product “theme” for context.

New Services for Developers

Most businesses that have thrived the past decade have one thing in common – great software. (Cue the "software is eating the world" narrative.)

If you’re operating in the retail, consumer goods, or transportation sector, how do you consistently build and deliver great software to users? You use the cloud, and you use new, innovative services that make life easier for developers. Two such examples are front-and-center in the May release:

  • Orchestrate.io – API-driven database-as-a-service, recently acquired by CenturyLink. The service is now accessible in four CenturyLink Cloud nodes, and can be integrated in with other cloud deployments.
  • AppFog Limited Beta – this new service is based on Cloud Foundry v2, offering massive productivity benefits for developers. It’s now available as a Limited Beta – to sign-up, visit the AppFog product page.

Open Source

The embrace of open-source within the enterprise is a popular topic here, and was discussed by our own Jared Wray recently:

And Jared is not alone in his enthusiasm. The team at CenturyLink Labs provides regular contributions as seen with Panamax… and now ImageLayers.io: an open-source utility to help developers visualize Docker images and the layers that compose them. Use ImageLayers.io to see how each command in the Dockerfile contributes to the final image, and discover which layers are shared by multiple images. This helps devs stay organized as containers become more complex; it’s a useful sanity check as well.

ImageLayer.io UI

In addition, we’ve also open-sourced some of the tools on this site, designed to make it even easier for buyers and consumers of cloud services to make more informed decisions. In this release, our TCO Tool was just released back to the community under the Apache 2 license.

Ecosystem & Marketplace

Elastic compute, storage, and networking services are the bedrock of transformative IT projects. But infrastructure is a means to an end – running applications that solve a business problem.

To simplify the “running applications” part, our Blueprints library has expanded with dozens of new options in recent months as more 3rd party providers have loaded up their software. A complete list of ecosystem partners is listed in this KB article, while our overall strategy on this front is laid out in this blog post.

A few highlights from this release include well-known products from Alert Logic (security) and MongoDB (NoSQL database), as well as other helpful offerings from Cohesive Networks (networking and security virtual appliance) and Saratoga Data Systems (Flume, accelerated file transfer technology).

Cloud Network Services

Business leaders and IT execs are hyper-focus on cloud-native applications, and how they can deliver a competitive advantage for the organization. An oft-overlooked component of that effort: extending existing data and infrastructure deployments to these cloud apps. Whether it’s a new mobile app that draws on existing CRM repositories of customer data for real-time engagement by employees, or a Hadoop cluster ingesting massive amounts of product data to improve R&D efforts, there’s eventually a desire to marry the existing with the new.

Enter Cloud Network Services, or CNS. With CNS, customers get a high-performance, secure, and low-cost way to share data between cloud services and traditional systems. There are similar options with other cloud providers, but for those businesses with massive hardware deployed in CenturyLink facilities, CNS and CenturyLink Cloud are a powerful combination. It ties colocation, managed hosting and public cloud together, securely within a data center. And of course, we offer MPLS for connecting all of this to on-premises data centers.

CNS is now available in NY1, the ninth public cloud location that has the service available. Check out this CNS reference architecture for more ideas on how this might be relevant to you.

Free Trial Anyone?

Expect many more exciting updates on new capabilities and enhancements as more and more CenturyLink products and services become cloud-ready, and deeply integrated into our Platform! Sign-up for a free trial if you’re ready to test-drive some of these new capabilities for yourself.