CenturyLink is excited to announce the launch of Runner, a configuration management and orchestration service that works across Hybrid-IT architectures and diverse cloud environments. Runner addresses the potential time and resource drain confronting organizations that want their own private clouds. It reduces private cloud complexity and administrative workload by allowing for fast and easy automation of infrastructure in any cloud or data center. It offers fast, easy automation and orchestration on the CenturyLink Platform, as well as on third-party cloud providers and on-premise infrastructures and devices. With Runner, you can quickly provision and modify resources on any environment.

What is Runner?

Runner is automation made simple! Runner exposes an open source automation and orchestration engine as a service. On top of the engine, we’ve created custom services and APIs to enhance job execution capabilities. Runner was created to enable users to quickly and efficiently manage their infrastructure, wherever it is. Runner securely connects customers to their infrastructure whether on the CenturyLink Platform, other clouds, or private data centers, allowing for both push and pull-based communication. Whether provisioning, configuring, or deploying, Runner makes it easy to quickly create and run jobs, report on the status, and share within your organization, all within the dashboard or API. One thing to note: We architected Runner to work with any configuration management toolset, and Ansible Playbooks are the first out of the starting blocks.

Taking the Complexity and Time Drain Out of Infrastructure Management

While companies are discovering the value of operating their business in the cloud, like CenturyLink’s Cloud Platform, some require their own private clouds or the need to maintain their own devices, while perhaps others need better distribution in case of failures. These Hybrid-IT solutions can take a lot of time and resources to manage. Runner simplifies infrastructure management by securely connecting users to their infrastructure, wherever it is, allowing both push and pull-based communication. Runner is state-based, massively parallel, and idempotent; meaning you get the same result anytime you run the job, no matter how large your infrastructure, while dramatically reducing human error and operating costs. The tool takes all of the power and functionality of Ansible and exposes it to users anywhere by integrating cloud and on-premise connectivity, reporting, scheduling, and more - all while streamlining the job creation and execution process. No matter the size of your infrastructure or the jobs, you’ll get the same results every time. Automatically power down infrastructure that is not in use or after business hours; and schedule it to turn back on in the morning. Scale infrastructure to meet capacity; backup or sync data across different platforms, all from one location. Runner connects environments and enables a single point of management and visibility. Runner takes the guess work out of connecting and managing your different platforms and environments. How you use it is up to you.

Features and Use Cases

One-Click Management and Provisioning - Whether you are a DevOps wizard or getting up to speed, Runner provides the ability to quickly and easily get a job running. Create your own jobs via our dashboard and easily rerun them with a simple click of a button. Or, search our Marketplace for jobs that meet your needs, click the run button and your job has started.

Available Anywhere - Easily connect to devices in data centers or onsite, or scale infrastructure in any of your cloud environments. Making it easier to manage your infrastructure.

Efficient Resource Management - Runner uses Kubernetes and Docker to auto-create and auto-destroy all the Ansible workers necessary to run each job. When your Runner job is over, all resources are torn down and deleted.

Infrastructure as Code - Runner is built on the ability to create and share jobs to quickly and easily manage your organization’s infrastructure. Runner is state-based, massively parallel and idempotent. With this approach, you can get the same result anytime you run the job. Simplifying collaboration, Runner lets you can easily share a jobs payload, YAML files, or share an entire job catalog.

Efficient Patch Management – Runner lets you install, update, and patch operating systems and software across your environments. No matter how many servers you have, patching is painful because you’re invariably dealing with different operating systems or versions in different locations. Let Runner take care of it for you. Update all of your servers with one job or click.

SSH Key Management - Performing any operation on your host(s) is a two-step process. You have to securely connect and then perform the actual task on the host. Runner saves you time by skipping the step of entering your username and password when you want to connect to any of your CenturyLink host(s). It may not seem like much, but the time adds up and takes you away from other tasks. Runner’s SSH service can also help you in distributing and managing keys on your existing CenturyLink host(s).

Simple Software Configuration - Whether you want to install the latest blogging software on your website, software that monitors traffic or usage, or if you are building software that needs to be deployed, Runner can help. Runner can deploy your software and applications over your distributed networks and hosting locations quickly and easily. We can even do a canary-style release for you so you won’t experience any downtime and can see your new changes live. Runner makes it easy to download, configure, and expose the software you need to be productive in minutes.

Getting Started with Runner

If you are ready to get started, but have yet to make the move to the Cloud, no problem. Sign up for a CenturyLink Cloud account,here.

• Learn more about Runner, or get started by visiting the official Runner website page for more information.

• Visit our Developer Center to learn how to create a server in your account and create a Runner job.

Designed for your business needs today and tomorrow, the CenturyLink Cloud is reliable, secure, robust, and global.

We’re a different kind of cloud provider – let us show you why.