Toolset creates best practice-optimized, reusable “Blueprints” of complex environments for automated deployment and IT self-service delivery models
BELLEVUE, Wash.—August 24, 2011—CenturyLink Cloud, Inc., an enterprise cloud platform provider, today announced the Environment Engine, a platform agnostic toolset that automates the design and deployment of complex environments and applications onto the CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Cloud. From network and storage layer all the way through OS and application, the toolset turns complex environments into best practice-optimized, reusable “Blueprints” for deployment via new IT self service delivery models. The company also announced an initial, robust set of cross-platform Blueprints that CenturyLink Cloud will make available to its Enterprise Cloud Platform customers at launch. While third-party scripting tools automate only at the top (application deployment) or bottom (server image configuring) of the platform stack, the CenturyLink Cloud Environment Engine (see datasheet and demo) integrates these functions into a simple toolset built to interface with every aspect of the CenturyLink Cloud cloud platform.
The Environment Engine toolset consists of a Blueprint Designer, Blueprint Library and Blueprint Builder that together create a seamless automation workflow to manage creation and storage of Blueprints as well as discovery and rapid deployment of these tested configurations. “Deploying complex environments and applications into the cloud can be just that – complex – with words like ‘consuming,’ ‘costly’ and ‘error prone’ coming to mind for many. Automation, on the other hand means simplicity and agility for both IT and the business,” said Jared Wray, chief technology officer, CenturyLink Cloud. “The Environment Engine greatly simplifies deployment of cloud-based services and, combined with the already robust automation in our Enterprise Cloud platform, opens up new IT service delivery models for our customers.“
The Environment Engine Cloud Automation Process
Utilizing the Blueprint Designer, the application or environment owner scripts core Blueprint building blocks, including (but not limited to) all aspects of host configuration, network configuration, firewall and firewall rules, load balancing and autoscale rules, and the sequenced events based on scripts and task lists to provision applications based on upstream or downstream dependencies. The Blueprint is then uploaded to the CenturyLink Cloud Blueprint Library.—Browsing the Blueprint Library, users select the Blueprint best suited to their requirements based on variables including categories, keyword, characteristic filters such as OS or sizing, Blueprint maturity, or social feedback.—Leveraging the Blueprint Builder tool, users can then configure pre-defined variables in the selected Blueprint to deploy complete, hardened, best practice-optimized environments in the CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Cloud in just minutes.
Automation use cases for the CenturyLink Cloud Environment Engine
The Environment Engine facilitates the onboarding of complex environments onto CenturyLink Cloud’s Enterprise Cloud, a true enterprise-class cloud platform with 99.999 percent (“five nines”) SLA across server, network and storage; security; built in disaster recovery and predictive optimization technologies for uncompromising performance across the entire stack. Use cases in beta include:—Enterprise IT leverage Blueprints to be more agile and responsive to business demands via IT as a Service models. By enabling customer self-service of complete application environments (such as SharePoint, etc.) hosted in the CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Cloud, IT departments speed deployment while reducing demand on IT ops resources.—Independent software vendors (ISVs) can accelerate adoption and deployment of their applications by publishing optimized Blueprints to the CenturyLink Cloud library for customer use.—Developers can integrate into the system via a full API and XML schema, integrating their systems directly with CenturyLink Cloud to automate provisioning of complex applications. Not only does this reduce operational support costs, but it dramatically improves customer experience.
Cost and Availability
The Environment Engine toolset is in private beta today, with general availability expected in October. The toolset is a value-added service at no extra charge to existing CenturyLink Cloud customers. At launch, CenturyLink Cloud will make available a core set of some of the most common and complex Blueprints for enterprises, including: • Microsoft SharePoint® Server • Microsoft Exchange® Server (Single Server) • Microsoft Exchange® Server HA: Using data availability groups • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 • Active Directory • Team Foundation Services • ASP.NET & SQL Web App: Single Node • ASP.NET 2 Node Web Application: Contains front end web server and backend SQL server • LAMP Stack See the CenturyLink Cloud Blueprint EngineDemo in booth 213 at VMworld "CenturyLink Cloud VMworld Special offer")August 29 –Sept 1 in Las Vegas.
About CenturyLink Cloud
CenturyLink Cloud, based in Bellevue, Wash., goes beyond traditional cloud offerings to provide an agile, self-optimizing enterprise cloud platform. Enterprises large and small depend on the company’s secure, intelligent platform to run their mission-critical, production applications and services so they can focus on their core business. They realize the cloud benefits of lower TCO and dynamic scaling delivered on an enterprise-class platform with SLAs, security, and built-in disaster recovery. Innovative technologies deliver predictive optimization for unprecedented performance at all layers. For more information, visit http://www.tier3.com.