Posts Tagged: Cloud Foundry

Real-time Data Distribution with Apache Kafka

August 21, 2015
By Chris Kleban

Like most enterprises and service providers, at CenturyLink we aim to please our customers by making data-based decisions. As our business grows, so does the amount of data we collect. The effort required to distill, distribute and analyze the data in meaningful ways was increasingly strenuous to our team. In short, we needed to become faster with our analytics. If your organization is becoming overwhelmed with data, read on, as I’ll share how the Cloud analytics team used Apache Kafka to solve the following challenges with collecting and distributing data at scale:

  • Efficient access to data
  • Speed
  • Scalability
  • Distributed, Fault Tolerant, and Highly Available

Challenge #1: Efficient access to data

Getting access to data is sometimes the hardest part. Sometimes the data that you need lives in some isolated software service and a one-off data export is required. Perhaps your data integration flow is overly-complex due to your adoption of a service-oriented architecture (SOA). Maybe you have a process that requires multiple teams to perform work before data is moved around. We saw all of this and more, and decided to make it easier to move our data to increase the overall velocity of our organization. Our data distribution flow between services looked something like this:

Previous...

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Different Hosts for Different Folks – Agile Infrastructure Services & You

July 16, 2015
By Jared Ruckle, Product Management

Take a look at the application portfolio of any enterprise. The range and diversity is astounding. You’ll see apps running on many types of infrastructure (mainframes, physical servers, virtualized), and in different physical locations (on-premises, colocation, in the public cloud).

Layer in different development languages, the desire for managed services, plus security and compliance considerations by application – and it’s easy to see why IT pros yearn for simplicity and efficiency in day-to-day management.

And that’s just the legacy “keep the business running” stuff. What about the new, transformative apps that differentiate the business? Analytics, Hadoop, mobile, and cloud-native apps are a different challenge that require a different mindset.

Our goal at CenturyLink is to dramatically simplify the management of infrastructure that powers all these scenarios, and do it in a way that delivers a competitive advantage for the enterprise.

Today, we take a big step towards that goal.

Two new products join our flagship public and private VM-based services in the CenturyLink Cloud: bare metal (physical servers, on-demand) and AppFog (multi-tenant Cloud Foundry).

These four “core” capabilities offer customers the flexibility to use the right service based on their application characteristics: underlying architecture, elasticity needs, sensitivity of data, and level of isolation required.

What’s more, they...

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Better Together: Bosh and Cloud Foundry on CenturyLink Cloud

January 7, 2014
By Jared Wray, CTO. Find Jared on Twitter.

We’re big fans of Cloud Foundry, open-source platform as a service.  Why?  Two reasons: the level of abstraction it offers enterprise developers, and the portability across cloud providers. This combination means faster development and deployment of multi-language web applications.  And Cloud Foundry is backed by a thriving ecosystem of hosting providers.

It’s our goal to make the CenturyLink Cloud the cloud of choice for enterprise developers interested in Cloud Foundry.  To that end, we’re excited to announce an important milestone.

Today, we’re pleased to announce the beta availability of BOSH on the CenturyLink Cloud.

BOSH is a crucial tool for deploying and managing Cloud Foundry at scale. It is supported on AWS, OpenStack, and vSphere and vCloud Director – and now CenturyLink Cloud.

Getting started with BOSH on the CenturyLink Cloud is easy - just set up a Micro-BOSH server configured for CenturyLink Cloud, then use the standard BOSH command line tools!  Check out how to get started here. Support is based on the BOSH July 2013 snapshot and is Ubuntu only.

We are confident enterprises and devs will like the “better together” combination of BOSH, Cloud Foundry and CenturyLink Cloud.  Here are five reasons why:

  • Supports everything you love about BOSH and Cloud Foundry. 
  • ...

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    New horizons in Node.js: App.js and WebRTC

    September 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    It’s hopeless trying to keep up with developments in the Node.js community. Believe me, I’ve tried.

    Once upon a time, I held out hope that I would be able to keep my finger on the pulse of Node-related discourse, but it all turned out to be in vain. New modules are added and updated to npmjs.org on an almost minute-by-minute basis. It’s enough to make your head spin (in a good way, if that makes sense). However, there have been a few big and bold movements in the Node.js space that have caught my attention recently that I think are incredibly promising and that I just couldn’t keep to myself: desktop client creation with App.js and WebRTC.

    Make some room, Qt: App.js is the new kid in town

    Did you ever want to use JavaScript to construct a rich UI experience in a non-browser setting? Well, now is your chance. Did it never even occur to you to try such a thing? Well, that’s okay, too, because I always assumed that I would have to learn C++ to ever accomplish such a thing. But playing around with App.js, which is available as an NPM module, has convinced me that this is a really...

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    CenturyLink Cloud at Platform: The Cloud Foundry Conference

    August 10, 2013
    By Mollie Jahner, Marketing Manager

    Earlier this week, over 450 developers and cloud leaders gathered in Santa Clara for the first Cloud Foundry Conference - Platform. The event brought together contributors to the open platform as a service product, as well as real world users for two days to discuss technical topics, product roadmap priorities, community contributions, and operational best practices.

    CenturyLink Cloud founder and CTO Jared Wray was one of the thought leaders who spoke during the conference. His topic: Extending Cloud Foundry to .NET via Iron Foundry.  This open-source project unites two large ecosystems: .NET developers and Cloud Foundry.

    To learn more, check out the slides and video of Jared’s presentation.

    We were happy to be sponsors of this event and are looking forward to the next one!

    Iron Foundry

    [University Students from China who have used Iron Foundry to deploy .Net applications]

    ...

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    Optimizing JavaScript for the V8 Engine

    August 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    For those of you like myself that didn’t have the good fortune of going to Google I/O, I hope you caught this video, “Breaking the JavaScript Speed Barrier:”

    As an aspiring developer, this was far and away the most intriguing and helpful video from the conference. This talk, delivered by Google’s Daniel Clifford, provides a number of essential guidelines for writing JavaScript that is better optimized for running on Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript Engine. Google has been doing pretty incredible things in the last few years with JavaScript, improving benchmarks and narrowing the speed gap between JavaScript and other languages that was once thought to be unbridgeable.

    We should be grateful that Google has invested so much time and energy into optimizing JavaScript performance. It has never been more important as a language, and its star is unlikely to fade anytime soon. For Clifford, optimizing JavaScript performance not only helps us do the same old things faster and better. It also broadens our development horizons and transforms the kinds of things that are possible, especially in the sphere of front-end development.

    I won’t give a fully fleshed-out summary of the talk, as I would recommend watching it on your own. It’s briskly presented...

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    The developer’s toolkit: HTTPie

    August 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    Make no mistake: for people who hack on UNIX-based systems, curl is a really powerful command. It enables you to extract the client-side content of any web page in an instant and also to do all kinds of things with the result, like dumping it into a .txt file (a trick which has been extremely useful to me in learning web development).

    But the curl command doesn’t always function all that intuitively on the input side, and the output always comes out monochromatic, making it difficult to immediately discern what’s going on in the stream of text you’re presented with in the CLI.

    HTTPie, in the words of its creator, was built “out of frustration with existing tools.” It provides the capacity to make both more intuitive requests and polychromatic output. Using it couldn’t be any more simple. The commands underlying an HTTPie request look like this in generic form:

    http [flags] [METHOD] URL [items] Let’s have a look at a sample POST request (taken from HTTPie’s GitHub readme):

    http --form POST api.example.org/person/1 name=’John Smith’ [email protected] The equivalent request done with the curl command:

    curl --data “name=John+Smith&email=john%40example.org” api.example.org/person/1 Requests in HTTPie aren’t necessarily significantly less verbose than curl requests. But that’s not their primary function. The benefit of...

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    The developer’s toolkit: Swagger

    August 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    I know what you’re probably thinking: I’ve written this post to recommend developers to add swagger (note the small “s”) to their existing set of skills and attributes. While I certainly do not disrecommend swagger as a character trait, my purpose today is instead to talk about the Swagger (note the big “S”) API documentation and exploration tool.

    Swagger enables you to transform your API into a sleek UI that makes it vastly easier for third-party users to see an exhaustive list of what your API offers, how requests are matched with URLs, and what the server will return in response to specific requests.

    Swagger also provides a sandbox UI for experimentation with APIs. Have a look at the demo UI. What you find there is an API for a hypothetical pet store. If you click on “/pet” for example, this will open up a menu of all of the HTTP requests associated with that directory.

    If I want to see what pets are available with the ID “Fido,” I simply need to open up the menu bar associated with GET /pet.json/{petId} requests, insert “Fido” into the text field, and hit the “Try it out!” button to get the API’s response:

    What I get...

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    Putting the MOVE framework in proper perspective

    August 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    In a recent post, on data models and persistence, I made what I now realized to be a pretty fundamental mistake: I talked about the use of data models in web development, but I restricted my discussion to MVC-style frameworks alone and should have said more about alternative design patterns.

    I restricted my discussion in this way more for the sake of brevity than anything else, but I’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks about alternative architectures and want to begin weighing in. Next week, I will discuss Knockout.js’s MVVM (model-view-view model) front-end architecture and the abstraction gains associated with it. But first, I want to discuss another alternative to MVC that’s been getting a lot of traction on the webs in the last few days: the MOVE framework, as outlined by Conrad Irwin.

    MOVE is an (admittedly quite clever) acronym for Models-Operations-Views-Events. What the term seeks to capture is an emerging way of structuring applications that doesn’t rely on an explicitly defined and coded controller. The problem, according to Irwin, is that quite often “you end up stuffing too much code into your controllers, because you don’t know where else to put it.”

    A much better way of doing things...

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    Why Cloud Foundry matters to Hackers

    August 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    Unless you live under a rock, you have heard of Cloud Foundry. However there is still a lot of skepticism out there about PaaS in general and Cloud Foundry in particular.

    I’ve been an open source hacker for over a decade. Compiling linux kernels, hacking MySQL, and generally getting my hands into every system that I could. I have also authored over a dozen open source libraries, some being used widely.

    When I saw PaaS in the early days, with EngineYard and Heroku, I thought it was really cool and inspiring. Like many hackers though, it is hard to trust something or fully enjoy it when you can not get under the hood.

    Why does Cloud Foundry matter?

    EDIT — It is a great PaaS. As the first commentator noted, none of this matters if the technology sucks. Cloud Foundry is a great, easy to use technology that works reliably, simply, and smartly. It supports many languages and many services. To a hacker and tinkerer, it is a haven for fun.

    It is well designed. Example: A message bus acts as a nerve center to various components via pub/sub. For example, when a new app server comes online, it subscribes to listen for new app...

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    Traditional vs PaaS hosting

    August 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    Comparing a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to traditional hosting like VPS/shared hosting (e.g. DreamHost, Host Gator, GoDaddy) or infrastructure-as-a-service hosting (e.g. Amazon Web Services, Linode, CenturyLink Cloud) is like comparing apples and oranges. One must look beyond hardware and price to get a true cost/value when picking a hosting provider.

    Shopping for traditional hosting is too much like shopping for breakfast cereal: many mediocre options, little differentiation, annoyances for up-sell.

    Traditional hosting… (aka “do it yourself”)

    With traditional hosting developers have many responsibilities before they can even touch a line of code. Lets look at some of these responsibilities…

    • Set up the application server (e.g. Apache, Nginx, etc.)
    • Set up MySQL database
    • Setting up the run-time platform like PHP, Ruby, etc
    • Something isn’t working.
    • Diagnose, re-configure/re-setup, try again.
    • Dependencies… right, have to setup those up too.
    • Setup FTP to deploy your code.
    • Setup security and firewall.
    • It worked on localhost, why isn’t it working now!!!

    As you can see, before you get to the code, you’ll have to spend hours getting your production environment in a state which is just barely good enough to host your application. If you want your application to be reliable, scalable, and resilient against various failures, you’ll have to deal with additional issues like setting up monitoring, alerting, load...

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    Twitter Bootstrap and the rise of total front-end frameworks

    August 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    It’s no secret that there’s lots and lots going on in back-end web development these days. As an example, debates surrounding node and asynchronicity, to give just one example, have reached a fever pitch and have occasionally felt more like philosophical arguments than technical arguments.

    The same has been true for debates between “thick” frameworks like Rails and Django versus “thin” frameworks like Sinatra, Flask, and Express. On top of these issues, we’re also witnessing an explosion of creativity in the world of full-stack frameworks (Padrino for Sinatra, Tower.js for node, etc.). (More on this very soon, so be sure to hit a subscribe link on the right)

    But what has surprised me recently is that similar developments are afoot in the world of front-end development. The shining example par excellence: Twitter Bootstrap.

    Bootstrap was essentially a big, juicy bone thrown to the web development community by Mark Otto and the folks in the design department at Twitter. The purpose is to allow third-party developers to easily lend some much-needed aesthetic consistency to the world of Twitter-related web apps, which now number in the hundreds of thousands (see this article by Drew Heatley, which gives a figure of a million, which I didn’t...

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    Two reasons why PaaS is so much more than automation

    August 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    Bruno Terkaly is a heck of an interesting and intelligent guy. I suggest you check out his many videos and writings. As a fellow developer evangelist, I look up to Bruno a lot. And like him, I’m heavily invested in the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) paradigm. And so when I came across this piece of his from a while back, I couldn’t help but devour it and ruminate on it for several days. It’s an impressive bit of thinking but I feel that there are some serious problems with his understanding of PaaS.

    The argument of the piece, titled “Why Platform as a Service (Robotics) will rule the world,” is essentially this: PaaS will rule the (cloud) world because the principle behind PaaS is automation, and automation is the core of a “radical technology revolution” that is slowly but surely making our global digital architecture more efficient. Terkaly even goes as far as to equate PaaS and “robotics” in the very title of the piece. The premise is that PaaS essentially roboticizes cloud infrastructure and thereby makes it vastly more efficient and easier to use.

    How does this roboticized system work? The answer lies in what Terkaly calls the Fabric Controller. It lies at...

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    What is NoOps anyhow

    July 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    Since having our infographic published on GigaOm, there has been a lot of controversy and FUD around “NoOps”. Paul Graham recently wrote about schlep blindness. NoOps is a response to the schlep blindness of developers doing SysOps.

    What does NoOps mean?

    • NoOps means developers can code and let a service deploy, manage and scale their code
    • NoOps means automated systems like CloudFoundry managing app lifecycles, not SAs “the point isn’t that ops are going away, but they’re going away for developers” – Derrick Harris at GigaOm

    What does NoOps NOT mean?

    • NoOps doesn’t mean that operations are dead and nobody will do them (like this tweet thinks)
    • NoOps isn’t a job role (like this tweet and this tweet thinks)
    • NoOps isn’t blissful ignorance (like this tweet thinks)
    • NoOps isn’t marketing fluff made up by non-technical idiots (like this tweet and this tweet thinks)

    This is the true spirit of NoOps:

    “Netflix runs NoOps … Netflix is a much larger example of a PaaS based NoNops organization … We claim a competitive advantage from the agility and automation of a PaaS based product and a NoOps organization.” – Adrian Cockcroft, Cloud Architect at Netflix (read more)

    The growth of the SysOps movement has been driven mainly by developers who were tired of...

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    The magic of not-even-rendering: on Knockout.js

    July 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    In a number of casual–and sometimes not-so-casual (!)–discussions about client-side JavaScript libraries, I’ve noticed that people have an unfortunate tendency to lump them all into a single amorphous blob. Backbone? Ember? Angular? Knockout? They all do something-or-other involving structuration on the front end; they’re all more or less the same thing.

    WRONG!!!

    There are indeed deep similarities between these libraries in terms of what they offer developers, but understanding their differences means understanding which use cases they’re best suited for. Here, I’ll make a foray into this discussion by outlining some of the basic characteristics of Knockout.js I’ve discussed Backbone previously, and I’ll discuss the others in a future post.

    According to Knockout creator Steve Sanderson in this video, Knockout, like many other libraries, was meant to provide “rich client-side interactivity.” HTML and the DOM are never ever ever going to provide you this on their own. What you see is what you get. In 1992, that was just fine. In 2012 we expect a whole lot of interactivity on the client side, but this kind of interactivity can’t be built on sand. Doesn’t a library like jQuery get us there? Well, not quite.

    Binding jQuery to an underlying data structure

    Knockout is a library...

    Read on...

    AngularJS: the beauty of concision

    June 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    Some of you might remember a Backbone blogging engine I made a while back. It certainly wasn’t the most advanced use case for Backbone, but I think that it did a decent job of elucidating some of Backbone’s features: event-driven responsiveness, templating, collections, and so on. It was also a great learning experience and my first foray into thick client-style development.

    But then a few weeks ago, a number of trusted friends and colleagues began raving about AngularJS. Curious about what the fuss was about, I began doing some exploring, looking at sample apps, reading the API docs, and watching a few videos, and it became abundantly clear that Angular is an almost shockingly powerful library. I was surprised by the kinds of heavy lifting that can be accomplished with little effort. And so I set out to see how concisely I could re-implement my Backbone project in Angular.

    I was quite pleased with the result.

    Getting started

    The first thing you need to do is specify within your <html> tag itself–I know, crazy, right?–that your HTML page is going to be staging an Angular app. Instead of the typical <html> tag, you need to insert a <html ng-app> tag instead. As you’ll see...

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    Codenvy Cloud IDE Now Directly Supports CenturyLink Cloud Platform as a Service PaaS

    April 6, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    Just a couple weeks ago, we looked at how Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) helps developers rapidly build and deploy applications to the cloud. We also covered a new breed of cloud-based development environments (IDE) that developers can use to create and publish their web applications. Since then, the cloud-based IDE we featured – called Codenvy – has updated their product to support the CenturyLink Cloud Platform as a Service. In this post, we’ll walk through how to quickly and easily deploy and manage Platform as a Service applications from your web browser.

    To start with, when users of Codenvy start a new web application project, they are asked which technology they want to use, and then which PaaS to deploy to. At this moment, the CenturyLink Cloud Platform as a Service is available for Java Web Application (WAR), Java Spring, and Ruby on Rails projects. Note that Platform as a Service works with more environments than these three, but these are the technologies supported via Codenvy.

    Codenvy Cloud IDE

    Once the user chooses the technology and corresponding PaaS, they choose a simple project template (if one exists for that technology), and are then asked for the management API endpoint of the Platform as a Service environment.

    Codenvy Cloud IDE

    The project...

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    Quite possibly the best Rails tutorial in existence

    April 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    One of the best things about learning Rails has been the community. It’s amazing to see how many great tutorials and guides and forms of documentation have been created out there for beginners, even absolute beginners (as I very, very recently was).

    The guides section of the Ruby on Rails website itself was, of course, very helpful in walking me step by step through installing rails and walking me through the various files and folders associated with the directory of any Rails app. I highly recommend it. And this video from Jeffrey Way is the best resource I’ve found so far for making the jump from just feeling your way around Rails into actually doing something with it (a chasm that I’m hoping to cross very soon).

    But the very best thing that I’ve found so far, which will be useful for both beginners and those entering a more intermediate phase, is Michael Hartl’s t tutorial on railstutorial.org. What makes this tutorial stand out for me is its thoroughness. Plenty of tutorials walk you through step by step, but Hartl’s tutorial deals with a variety of crucial issues from the very get-go, including writing your own tests and specs to a discussion of...

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    Everybody Loves PaaS; PaaS is Failing

    April 1, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    In the beginning, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) was created for developers, not for enterprises. Developers could deploy and test applications within minutes, not days, weeks or months. PaaS enabled developers to sidestep the need to invest in a platform of their own (or mess with jumping the IT queue). And Developers found it good. Agility and velocity became the primary drivers for moving workloads off-premise and into public clouds. As a result, PaaS rapidly became the preferred platform for cutting-edge startups and ambitious developers within small and large organizations.

    Low introductory prices made it easy for developers and executives to adopt PaaS as their platform; and everyone enthusiastically embraced the agility and velocity they realized through PaaS. Even corporate IT executives saw the upside of PaaS: faster application development reflects well on them. But they saw a downside, too, especially as business units went off the reservation for PaaS suppliers. The lack of central control complicated management of corporate system and created potentially serious liabilities because the integration points were unclear and complicated. The first PaaS providers ignored all of these concerns, even claiming that incumbent systems “didn’t exist” because they weren’t focused on enterprises.

    But these days, early PaaS success is making the...

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    It’s Hard to be Number One

    April 1, 2013
    By Originally Posted On AppFog

    Now that PaaS has become the hot topic in the Cloud – and now that Enterprise customers are starting to sign those 9 figure contracts for PaaS providers – we’re starting to see the sort of negative marketing that has long been the trademark of Enterprise Software. This is sad, but inevitable. At present the negative marketing seems to largely be targeted at the leaders in the space and seems to largely consist of FUD.

    While normally we would simply ignore this kind of thing – a recent post on the Apprenda blog about Cloud Foundry does, in our opinion, require a response. We have been partners with VMware and Cloud Foundry from early in Cloud Foundry’s existence. We are big fans of Cloud Foundry and AppFog is built to support Cloud Foundry. As such we are a part of the ecosystem that Sinclair talks about. Given his basic thesis, we should be worried sick about VMware and should be fighting to find different alternatives.

    Nothing is further from the truth.

    FUD: What VMware is doing with Cloud Foundry will collapse the ecosystem!

    In looking at the post, the entire thesis is that “more cloud” is a bad thing and that by helping enterprises...

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    The Simplest Way to Build and Deploy Web Applications to the Cloud? Use PaaS and Cloud IDEs!

    March 17, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    Web applications are a dominant part of most enterprise IT portfolios and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products offer a compelling way to easily deploy and manage these applications. However, PaaS have proven tricky for vendors to explain, and therefore difficult for customers to understand. In this post, we’ll discuss the reason you should consider using PaaS products, what CenturyLink Cloud has to offer, and how you can deploy a web application to a PaaS in a matter of minutes.

    Benefits of PaaS

    What exactly is PaaS? Basically, it’s a way of delivering an application platform as a service. Developers don’t interface directly with infrastructure (e.g. servers, networks, load balancers) but rather, focus on building and deployment applications through a set of exposed services in a managed fabric. PaaS simplifies the deployment and management of modern web applications while making those applications more resilient and functional. How can PaaS add value to your organization? Let’s drill into some specifics:

      *Reduce server sprawl with a centralized host for web applications. How many web servers are sitting relatively idle in your data center because they are only running a handful of applications? Server sprawl can be a major issue as each IT project requisitions its...

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    Docker and the Future of the PaaS Layer

    March 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    You know what’s pretty easy nowadays? Throwing a bunch of processes onto a server running somewhere far away. Dozens. Thousands. Millions. As many as you want. This was really, exasperatingly hard just a few years ago. But Amazon Web Service, CenturyLink, and other players have come along to make this pretty painless.

    But you know what’s still really hard? Making those processes completely self-contained and yet running on one kernel and manageable from a single interface. This is the problem that Docker was meant to solve.

    Brief intro to Docker

    Docker chose to address this problem by building a developer-friendly abstraction layer on top of Linux containers (LXC). LXC is a powerful concept, but it simply wasn’t built as an intuitive interface. It’s a pain to use and prohibitively complicated for anyone but the most adept Linux power users.

    And so the idea of enabling developers of all stripes to actually use them in a way that gets rid of tons of conceptual overhead and streamlines the use of containers into an actual runtime that makes real sense amounts to a massive win over the more low-level containerization tools that already exist.

    Docker takes LXC and constructs a set of basic commands around it, commands...

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    Why JSON will continue to push XML out of the picture

    March 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    The world’s digital infrastructure is currently characterized by a plethora of data interchange formats. It’s not the least bit surprising that such a multiplicity undergirds things at the moment. The internet is scarcely a generation old, while the “Internet of Things” and “Big Data” more closely resemble regulative ideals than realities. But I nonetheless believe that there are strong, discernible historical tendencies currently at work in this field, tendencies that strongly favor JSON over others.

    Ten years ago, XML was the primary data interchange format. When it came on the scene, it was a breath of fresh air and a vast improvement over the truly appalling SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). It enabled people to do previously unthinkable things, like exchange Microsoft Office documents across HTTP connections. With all the dissatisfaction surrounding XML, it’s easy to forget just how crucial it was in the evolution of the web in its capacity as a “Swiss Army Knife of the internet.”

    But it’s no secret that in the last few years, a bold transformation has been afoot in the world of data interchange. The more lightweight, bandwidth-non-intensive JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) has emerged not just as an alternative to XML, but rather as a...

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    Node.js is taking over the Enterprise – whether you like it or not

    February 4, 2013
    By Originally Published On AppFog

    Node.js is taking over the Enterprise – whether you like it or not

    The question is no longer if Node is enterprise ready. The question now is the following: what major digital enterprises will end up being the last hold-outs?

    There’s now no question whatsoever that Node is far more than a flash in the pan. The question nowadays is not whether or not Node will break out of its so-called “hipster hacker” bubble, but rather how much of the digital world it will conquer.

    In spite of all of the early FUD directed at the Node community and arguments that you shouldn’t use Node for anything much less for enterprise-ready web development, a pretty sizable chunk of the corporate world has gotten on the train.

    It turns out that the same things that made hackers fall in love with Node are more or less the same reasons why enterprises are turning to it. In a world in which we want information pipelined to us in real time and in which technological advancements like open APIs and distributed computing have made that possible in once-unprecedented ways, then it’s no surprise whatsoever that the contemporary digital marketplace would begin looking for tools to not just...

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    Application Portability in Action: A Demonstration of Cloud Foundry Core

    January 2, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager

    The Cloud Foundry PaaS team recently announced Cloud Foundry Core as a way to make it simple for PaaS customers to discover the services and platforms supported by each Cloud Foundry provider. The provider platform, such as CenturyLink Cloud’s Platform as a Service,  is interrogated live to show the latest services and frameworks that are supported. But does this really matter? Is portability overrated?  While your business applications are probably not leaping between environments on a daily basis, portability does greatly improve deployment choice and disaster recovery options**.

    Let’s see how this plays out in real life. I built a sample application that used Node.js for the web layer and PostgreSQL for the database layer. My goal is to quickly and seamlessly move this application between development (Micro Cloud Foundry), test (CloudFoundry.com) and production (CenturyLink Cloud Platform as a Service) environments.

    Deploy an Application to Micro Cloud Foundry

    Micro Cloud Foundry is a fully encapsulated virtual machine that surfaces all of the Cloud Foundry services. Developers can work with this local cloud to build and test their applications before deploying to a production-quality Cloud Foundry environment. This offering differs from the development fabric offered by other clouds in that it’s a complete clone...

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    Say Hello to Iron Foundry—An Open-Source, .NET PaaS Framework

    July 16, 2012
    By

    At CenturyLink Cloud, we’ve been big supporters of Cloud Foundry—the VMware-led, open-source PaaS framework—from the beginning. That said, we’re a .NET shop and many of our customers’ most critical applications are .NET-based. So today we’ve decided to contribute Iron Foundry, our own .NET fork of Cloud Foundry, back to the community as an open-source project.

    This project includes both the primary framework as well as both a Windows version of Cloud Foundry Explorer and a Visual Studio Plugin for Cloud Foundry. (Video demos for the command line interface and Visual Studio plugin are located at the bottom of this post.) Because developers can run their own instances of Iron Foundry in-house or with any service provider who supports it, developers finally have a truly open, interoperable .NET PaaS solution that can be run inside and outside the firewall. And because you can run your own instances of Iron Foundry, it’s easy to have a full test, QA, and staging environment before pushing to production.

    In addition, operations teams now have the freedom to choose among various service providers that meet their needs in areas such as security, compliance, availability, location, etc. For developers who are interested in trying Iron Foundry, we have...

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