Posts Tagged: Infrastructure

Four Factors Fueling CenturyLink Cloud Growth in Europe

September 26, 2016
By Steve Falkus

cloud growth

Public cloud has been a part of global businesses for many years now, but there seems to be no stopping the growth of demand for innovative cloud services in Europe. The latest market forecast figures from IDC for Public Cloud Services in Western Europe suggests that the market is growing at more than 20% each year and will be worth almost $40 Billion by 2020. CenturyLink has experienced cloud growth in the European market as well. So, what is fueling the growth of public cloud in general, and CenturyLink Cloud®, in particular?

Hybrid IT Solutions

Enterprises continue to shift their on-premise data center assets into the cloud in pursuit of business agility, while moving to an Opex commercial model that scales IT costs in line with business growth. With virtually every industry being disrupted by digital innovators, established enterprises are moving applications quickly to the cloud as they accelerate their own digital business strategy.

CenturyLink has provided hosting solutions in Europe since 2002. With a focus on specific verticals including financial services, retail, legal, media, and technology, many of our clients have been with us for a number of years. Many clients started their hosting journey using Colocation and Managed Hosting services, then...

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Obstacles to Better Broadband in Rural Communities

August 30, 2016
By Jessica Weber

bicycle-wheel.jpg

It's easy to lose perspective when you're working with and using technology. Something that seems so simple and fast, like transferring a file, requires a lot of "behind-the-scenes" work to happen. There's the physical limitations -- does the network even reach my location? -- and there's also resource limitations -- is there enough staff or money to make file transfers in this area a reality?

In a world where the Internet of Things (IOT) is becoming a common commodity and people in urban areas expect fast transfer speeds and instant data access, there are those outside the urban bubble, mainly rural communities, that still face a number of challenges to making fast and reliable data transfer a reality.

There are many reasons that these rural communities need faster and more reliable broadband connections. The infrastructure of a community relies heavily on the speedy communication between staff. Whether it be to put out a fire or respond to an emergency situation, people need to communicate quickly and efficiently. This is especially important in the realm of health care. Rural communities have a difficult time upgrading the technologies that would grant them faster access to health care specialists, who are most likely located in...

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Six Factors to Consider When Planning Your Business Continuity Strategy

August 1, 2016
By Brandy Smith

Business Continuity

Can you quantify what happens if your business goes down? Do you lose productivity, customers, or both? And, is your business going to lose its reputation?

A solid business continuity strategy seeks to mitigate the impact on a business when critical functions are interrupted. Business continuity is challenging for any organization to identify and address. There are so many factors that can disrupt operations. This can include anything that threatens a facility, whether it’s a natural disaster, a physical security breach, or a chain of custody breach.

Organizations that don’t have a business continuity strategy in place are at enormous risk. The strategy an organization chooses affects the potential downtime, which can in turn impact not just their bottom line, but perhaps whether or not they remain in business. Consider the following:

7 out of 10 companies that lose a significant amount of data are bankrupt within 12 months.

Six Factors to Consider When Planning Your Business Continuity Strategy

Evaluating What SLAs Really Mean

Many organizations assume that if they have 99.999% uptime—they’re covered. But in reality, true uptime is a little more complicated. Businesses depend on their IT systems. So reliability and system availability are significant issues whether they’re an unofficial standard, a corporate service-level agreement (SLA)...

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What’s the Big Grey Thing in the Corner?

July 28, 2016
By Kenny McBride

elephant

Has the 'elephant in the room' suddenly appeared or has the IT world merely been turning a blind eye when it comes to recognizing one of the most important facets of virtualization and cloud computing? There seems to be resistance to the inevitable and necessary restructuring of IT organizations in this new virtual, services-driven world.

Technology shifts are remaking the Chief Information Officer (CIO) career trajectory, and as a result organizations will have to evolve to meet these new demands and expectations. The increasing reliance on IT across the enterprise has seen the CIO evolve from being a 'function' leader to a 'business strategy' leader. Statements like: “We are more focused on business outcomes than technology,” will likely become the norm rather than the exception. The CIO role is evolving from a support-based position; it's now shifting to a role more closely-aligned to corporate strategist, especially in this rapidly-changing service-orientated cloud computing environment.

To get the most out of highly-virtualized, cloud-ready environments consumers and users have to rethink and realign IT organizations. Consider the typical organization of a data center, which usually contains a hardware department, a network department, and a storage department. Internal customers can no longer require separate equipment and...

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How to Build Cloud at Scale: The Secrets of Tinman

July 19, 2016
By Brandy Smith

cloud automation

The proliferation of mobile devices, rapid generation of data, and cheap broadband access (all contributing to the “Digital Tsunami”) has forced many data center providers to re-think how they build capacity, specifically public cloud capacity. Only a few of the traditional providers have transitioned to public cloud. For our part at CenturyLink in the last few years, we’ve expanded our reach to 14 public cloud nodes around the world. Each one offers a compelling mix of elastic services at a competitive price. And we are expanding in each data center constantly. Because of this expertise, many enterprise customers offload infrastructure management to us. But even as many of these businesses shift to public cloud, IT leaders often ask us about how they can run their on-premises deployments more effectively. To paraphrase “how can I bring some public cloud automation pixie dust to my private cloud deployment?” With that backdrop, we wanted to share some of the best practices behind one of our internal automation projects, Tinman. Tinman is a collection of APIs and scripts that ingests a rack of gear, then quickly transforms it into usable compute services. Tinman is how we bring new gear online, in a completely automated way.

Where to Get

...

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Benefits of Cloud Load Balancing

May 9, 2016
By Thomas Broadwell

load-balancing.png

Businesses large and small are leveraging the cloud to run a variety of applications that are critical to their success. Tools for sales and customer management, inventory management, expense tracking, file storage and sharing, websites, and custom applications are just a few of the many cloud-hosted services that keep businesses running. The scalable and global nature of the cloud helps to create affordable and flexible applications in a web hosting solution for most businesses today. Since servers host these applications in the cloud, it only makes sense to load balance the servers in the cloud as well.

Proven Performance

Real-world application performance can be unpredictable. To ensure maximum uptime and reliability, the CenturyLink Cloud® platform offers a portfolio of cloud load balancers to meet the unique requirements of your apps. Less complex applications can deploy shared load balancers, while more involved apps can use dedicated load balancers that support advanced OSI Model Layer 4 - Transport and Layer 7 - Application rules. SSL offloading is also available, from 100 Mbps to 500 Mbps.

Cloud Load Balancing from CenturyLink uses a multi-tenant, scalable, and programmable infrastructure presented to the customer as a service. The Dedicated Load Balancer uses Citrix® NetScaler®, the industry’s leading web...

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An End to the Platform Wars: Cloud Foundry Rising

December 16, 2015
By Jared Ruckle

Vendor Lock-In Withers

As long as there have been IT vendors, there has been worry about vendor lock-in from buyers. Businesses squirm at the notion of having data and systems stuck with a particular provider over time, without an easy out.

Public cloud infrastructure, and more specifically, add-on tech from cloud brokers (remember them?) promised to alleviate this anxiety. So did OpenStack, with lukewarm results so far, years after the original promise.

To date, tinkering with interoperability for cloud has been a non-starter for businesses. Once again, the effort to achieve compatibility just hasn’t been worth it.

A New Hope

Now, containers and application services offer the legit possibility of vanquishing the lock-in "boogeyman" once and for all. Why might this time be different? Ruthless commodification is creeping up the stack, where nearly everything besides the actual code the developer is writing can be operated, managed, and maintained by a 3rd party on the cheap.

Which brings us to today’s news regarding Cloud Foundry Certification. This is a big development for enterprises striving to remain relevant as software gobbles the world. Cloud Foundry Certification ensures that application code running in one Cloud Foundry service will run seamlessly in another. Providers who display the Cloud Foundry Certification...

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High Availability: It's About Scale Factor

August 20, 2015
By Daniel Morton

Richard Seroter, VP ProductWhether you're a CIO or a developer you can't assume that the cloud just magically gives you high availability (HA). Cloud gives you the tools. We think a little healthy skepticism on the part of the customer that the cloud will be available all the time is actually a good thing. A customer should say, “I build my systems to be resilient and accommodate failure that the provider experiences. I'm going to use whatever services the cloud providers offers to build the best system I can, but I have to plan for all scenarios.”

We applaud that skepticism! It’s up to you to implement the cloud products and managed services offered by the cloud provider in a way that gives you the resilience you need. To build highly availability applications, you have to design systems to handle both routine interruptions and unplanned failures of components and infrastructure — from a single instance all the way through the data center.

A platform offering that can simplify building that in terms of scale, configuration, and managed infrastructure services has a lot to offer. That’s why we sat down with CenturyLink Cloud’s VP of Product Richard Seroter to discuss how his teams help customers scale...

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying About My On-Prem Data Center and Love the Cloud: The Data Center Transformation Playbook

March 25, 2015
By Jared Ruckle, Product Manager

I was chatting with a CIO the other day about his goals and vision for the organization. Highlights: supporting 2x revenue growth over the next several years. Delivering a differentiated customer experience. Mobile apps. Empowering his teams in the field.

Pretty good list, right?

We went on to discuss how cloud services could help his company achieve all of the above. But there was another pressing project on his mind: retiring his on-premises data center, in favor of the public cloud. Why was this “data center transformation” project a high priority for him?

  • Risk due to location. Office buildings, no matter how secure, can’t compare to the facilities offered by most data center providers. Environmental factors come in to play as well – the threat of natural disasters and even shoddy HVAC systems keep execs up at night.
  • Inordinate amounts of human time and effort. Administering servers, running procurement, fiddling with cabling, monitoring power and cooling - it's time consuming. And there’s just no upside to it. Best case? Your team keeps things running on par with what an outsourced provider can deliver…only without the price drops and new features. Think of all the other things these folks could
...

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Explosive Growth and Rapid Change in Asia-Pacific – Announcing our Cloud in Singapore!

March 18, 2015
By Chris Levanes, Director of Cloud & Managed Hosting, APAC

For the past fifteen years, my professional life has been centered in Asia, with ten of these years as a resident. And throughout this time I have always held strong personal views on the economic potential of the region. However, the current and future growth projections have outpaced my most optimistic predictions and expectations.

Some recent stats from various sources which illustrate the extent of the growth that is occurring, include:

  • Of the current 3+ billion global internet users, more than 46% reside within Asia-Pacific. It is estimated that Asia-Pac will represent more than 50% before the end of 2015.
  • Global e-commerce transactions are currently estimated to be around ~USD $1.5 trillion. In 2014, Asia-Pacific became the world’s largest e-commerce market. By end of 2017, consumers in APAC will be responsible for more than USD $1 trillion of the estimated $2.3 trillion in global e-commerce sales.

Coupled with these growth trends, the region is also experiencing dramatic change. For example, Asia-Pacific is the fastest mobile device growth region in the world, and already accounts for more than 50% of global mobile phone ownership. In fact, many users from Asia-Pacific will connect to the Internet for the first time via a mobile device, and that...

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Deploying Docker Containers on CenturyLink Cloud

July 13, 2014
By Bryan Friedman, Senior Product Manager. Find Bryan on Twitter

If you’ve been reading cloud-related news lately or you follow any developers or system admins on Twitter, then you’ve undoubtedly seen the words “container”, “Docker”, and “CoreOS” written a few thousand times over the past year or so. Chatter has particularly picked up in the last few months with Docker 1.0 being released in June and CoreOS announcing their first stable release within the past few weeks. CoreOS also received an 8 million dollar investment just a couple of months ago, and Docker just got another $40 million in funding a few days ago. And just yesterday, CenturyLink joined the container party and announced the release of the open-source Docker management platform, Panamax. Developed by the recognized thought-leaders at CenturyLink Labs, Panamax was described by RedMonk principal analyst James Governor as “Docker management for humans. It dramatically simplifies multi-container app deployment.”

This is bleeding edge technology we’re talking about here, so if you haven’t heard about any of it yet, there’s no time like the present. Docker is one of the fastest-growing open-source projects ever, with more than 550 contributors and 7 million downloads in just over a year since its release. The power of Docker lies in its ability to...

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Scale All of the Things! Go In, Out, Up, Down in the CenturyLink Cloud

June 30, 2014
By Richard Seroter, Director of Product Management. Find Richard on Twitter

Are you getting the full benefit of the cloud if you don’t take advantage of its elasticity? To be sure, there are many ways that cloud environments—running dynamic OR static workloads—can positively impact your business agility. But cloud computing fundamentally changes the relationship between infrastructure and workloads that run upon it; you can constantly right-size by adding and removing capacity on demand instead of being stuck with over-sized or under-powered environments. To do this effectively, you need flexible options for automatically and manually adjusting your infrastructure resources. In this post, I outline five different application scenarios, and which CenturyLink Cloud scaling capability delivers the optimal elasticity solution.

1. Modern web application with variable usage? Horizontal Autoscale!

Horizontal AutoscaleAre most of your internal or external facing web applications in constant, heavy use? If so, I’d be surprised! The applications that your employees rely on may be busy during predictable periods, or, experience load whenever random business conditions occur. Public web applications may spike in usage when marketing campaigns are in flight, or when an avalanche of traffic follows a social mention.

Instead of standing up gobs of (costly) infrastructure that only add value during random usage spikes, consider services like CenturyLink Cloud Horizontal Autoscale. Our...

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Why Reliable Cloud Performance Matters

April 14, 2014
By Richard Seroter, Director of Product Management. Find Richard on Twitter

People are right to be wary of any vendor claiming to be the “top performing!” or “fastest!” cloud provider. Most folks know that ANYTHING can look spectacular – or unspectacular for that matter – if you stack the deck just right. But at the same time, cloud shoppers have a deep hunger for legitimate information on realistic performance expectations. Cloud performance has a direct impact on what you spend on compute resources, how you decide the right host for your workload, and how you choose to scale when the need arises. In this blog post, we’ll summarize some recent findings and put them in context.

With the launch of our new Hyperscale instances, we approached an independent analytics company, CloudHarmony, and asked them to conduct an extended performance test that compared CenturyLink Cloud Hyperscale servers to the very best equivalent servers offered by AWS and Rackspace. CloudHarmony is a well-respected shop that collects data from dozens of benchmarks and shares the results publicly for anyone to dissect.  After running a variety of benchmarks over a long period of time (to ensure that the test gave an accurate look over an extended window), they shared their findings with the world. See the...

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5 Reasons You Will Love this CenturyLink Cloud News (Including a Price Update!)

April 1, 2014
By Jared Wray, CenturyLink Cloud CTO

When CenturyLink acquired Tier 3 in November, our newly integrated cloud team promised customers big things – faster innovation and access to more capabilities, to name a few.  The team has delivered in the first 140 days: new services and an expanded footprint.  Our Cloud SVP Andrew Higginbotham shares the results here by the numbers.

Another benefit?  Scale.  That leads to lower costs, which CenturyLink can pass along to customers.  Today, we’re pleased to announce a major price reduction for CenturyLink Cloud services. 

For our clients, and businesses considering cloud, here’s what you need to know about these changes:

  • The new pricing changes are effective immediately for CenturyLink Cloud CPU, RAM, and block storage.  These drops are dramatic – a typical CenturyLink Cloud VM will cost at least 60% less with the new pricing.  Customers without contracts will see the new pricing effective immediately; customers with contracts will hear from their account team to adjust terms accordingly. 
  • New support bundles.  Until today we have bundled premium support as part of our price offering – a key benefit to organizations formulating their cloud strategy.  But the market has matured.  As such, we are evolving our singular support offering to a strong portfolio of
  • ...

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    Our First 140 Days as CenturyLink Cloud

    March 7, 2014
    By Richard Seroter, Head of Product Management. Find Richard on Twitter

    Recent history has shown that after a cloud provider is acquired, the pace of innovation slows and there’s a loss of focus (and staff). If you don’t believe me, check out the release notes (if you can find them!) of some recently acquired cloud companies. It’s not pretty. I’m here to say that we’re different.

    140 days ago, the acquisition of Tier 3 by CenturyLink was described as a "transformational deal for the industry." Instead of randomizing Engineering post-acquisition with unnecessary process, and haphazard integrations with legacy and redundant products, we’ve actually accelerated pace of development on our go-forward platform, CenturyLink Cloud. In the past four months, we’ve maintained our software release cadence, grown our team, expanded our data center footprint, actively integrated with our parent company, and solidified a game-changing vision that has retained and attracted a phenomenal set of customers.

    We update our cloud platform every month with new, meaningful capabilities. Only a very small subset of cloud providers can make that claim. In the past 140 days, we’ve shipped over 1,200 features, enhancements, and fixes. This includes a new high performance server class, faster virtual machine provisioning, new reseller services, a major user interface redesign, a compelling monitoring/alerting service,...

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    The Six Commandments of Achieving Isolation in a Multi-Tenant (Cloud) Environment

    January 20, 2014
    By Richard Seroter, Head of Product Management. Find Richard on Twitter

    Multitenancy – the concept of using a single (software) platform to serve multiple customers – is a key aspect of nearly every cloud computing platform. Pooling resources results in lower costs for all parties, greater efficiencies, and faster innovation for customers. Are there risks and tradeoffs with this model? Sure, but every technology paradigm has them.

     In this blog post, we’ll look at some core principles for successful multitenancy, see how the CenturyLink Cloud provides tenant isolation, and review the ways that CenturyLink Cloud customers create isolation within their own account. The goal is to simply help customers understand what to look for when assessing multi-tenant environments to run their workloads, SaaS applications, and more.

    Core Principles

    Any service provider delivering a multi-tenant environment must adhere to these six commandments:

     1. Thou shalt isolate tenants within their own network. This one applies mainly to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers who promise secure computing environments. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) customers on a platform like Salesforce.com don’t have this issue as customers do not have access to low level network traffic. When granting virtual machine access to users, the service provider has to ensure that there’s no opportunity to intercept network traffic from other customers.

     2. Thou shalt not...

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    Cloud Services: Build, Buy, or Partner? Dell Chooses ‘Partner’ and So Should You

    November 12, 2013
    By Jared Ruckle, Product Marketing

    Today, Dell chose CenturyLink Cloud for their partner program due to our cloud’s extensive reseller capabilities.  These features, first launched as Tier 3’s Reseller Edition, include account management, APIs, SSO via SAML, extensive re-branding and more (details here and here). CenturyLink’s approach to reseller enablement gives Dell a completely rebranded public cloud offering overnight – no engineering required on their side.

    This is big news for us, and we’re excited to be working with Dell.

    Now, let’s explore this idea of partnerships for public cloud a little more.

    Developers and IT increasingly turn to new-school cloud vendors for their infrastructure.  Common sense on the eve of 2014.  But this shift was not anticipated by most SIs, MSPs, and hardware OEMs 5 years ago.

    How have these vendors responded?  The results are mixed.  Many are still refining their cloud strategy, and wrestling with the build, buy, partner calculus.

    The industry isn’t sitting still – far from it.  But there’s plenty of time for vendors who missed out on the first wave of cloud to capitalize on the second wave.  But as CenturyLink CTO Jared Wray recently wrote, building cloud is hard.  It takes a specific set of engineering skills that are in high demand.

    Consequently, we’re seeing...

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    2013 Cloud Predictions: How Did We Do?

    November 10, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Head of Product Management. Find Richard on Twitter

    Last year, we made 12 predictions about what would happen in the cloud space in 2013. As the year comes to a close, it’s only fair for us to assess our hits and misses to see how well we did.

    Recap and Scorecard

    PREDICTION #1: 2013 will be the year of cloud management software.

    REALITY: Hit. We saw this come true on multiple fronts. First, cloud management providers Enstratius and ServiceMesh were acquired by Dell and CSC, respectively. Tier 3 – known for the sophisticated management software that runs our IaaS – was acquired by CenturyLink. On top of this, Gartner estimates that a new vendor enters the cloud management space every month, and nearly every cloud provider is constantly beefing up their own management offerings. This shows the strategic value of comprehensive management capabilities in a cloud portfolio. Customer adoption of these platforms is also on the rise and Gartner sees 60% of Global 2000 enterprises using cloud management technology (up from 30% in 2013).

     

    PREDICTION #2: While the largest cloud providers duke it out on price and scale, smaller cloud providers see that enterprise adoption really depends on tight integration with existing tools and processes.

    REALITY: Mixed. Of course, cloud prices definitely...

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    Cloud IaaS Price/Performance Benchmarking – Part 2

    October 18, 2013
    By Jared Ruckle, Product Marketing

    In part one, we highlighted Tier 3’s strong showing in a recent performance benchmarking survey.

    So what to make of reports like this?  Here are 6 observations that might help you, a buyer of cloud services, interpret findings like this.

    Two Things These Reports Can Tell You

    • Quantification of vendor claims & normalization. Vendors will describe their products as “high performance.”  Well, compared to what?  And given that each vendor has a different hypervisor and hardware in their data center – in addition to different instance sizes, or a build to custom specs capability (Tier 3’s approach) – it is hard to gauge clock speeds across providers.  This particular report cuts through that.
    • Each cloud on this list is likely better than another competitor – your internal data center. Every cloud provider on this list is operating at scale, releasing new features often, and supporting a multi-tenant service.  As a result, they are almost certainly delivering better performance than what you have on-premise today.  And due to the expansive self-service offerings some of these providers offer, superior agility relative to your internal data center is a given.  The really interesting – and possibly confusing - thing?  Some of the vendors on this list
    ...

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    Cloud IaaS Price/Performance Benchmarking – Part 1

    October 7, 2013
    By Jared Ruckle, Product Marketing

    It’s difficult for businesses to compare so many diverse players in the cloud.  To make the task a bit easier, the team at Cloud Spectator recently issued a useful report: “IaaS Performance and Value Analysis.”  View it here, registration required to download.

    At CenturyLink Cloud, we’ve always claimed to be a “high performance” cloud (who doesn’t?), so it is nice to see this validated by a third party.  A summary of findings that brought a smile to our faces:

    • #1 “Performance Leader” for overall system results
    • #1 performance leader for Disk and RAM
    • #2 performance leader for CPU and internal networking

    My personal favorite passage:

    UnixBench highlights the significant system performance difference among the top providers in the IaaS industry. The highest and lowest scorers show a difference of 4.7x in system performance; CenturyLink Cloud’s average UnixBench score is 2998, while Amazon EC2’s is 642.

    Results in visual form (image edited to highlight CenturyLink Cloud):

    Cloud Spectator - Results Summary

    There was considerable public chatter about these results, and industry analyst Ben Kepes wondered if these types of reports even matter. Since price/performance is only a single dimension of a cloud’s value, how should a buyer and consumer of cloud services use this type of information?

    In Part 2, we’ll build on his train...

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    Cloud Infrastructure Grows Up: Gartner MQ 2013 Analysis

    July 23, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    For the 3rd straight year, CenturyLink Cloud was recognized by Gartner in its influential Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Cloud Infrastructure-as-as-Service. Readers of the MQ don’t just like it because it summarizes an entire industry with a single visual representation. Rather, its real value is derived from the deep analysis of vendors and market dynamics. Each year, the criteria for inclusion gets tougher as the demands of enterprise customers mature. In 2013, vendors can’t simply offer a warmed-over virtualization environment and brand it a cloud.

    CenturyLink Cloud on the Gartner Magic Quadrant

    [**Download Report >>**](http://www.tier3.com/lp/gmq-2013)

    Gartner went hands-on with our platform and came away impressed.

    CenturyLink Cloud combines an excellent, highly differentiated set of features on a well-engineered platform with an easy-to-use self-service portal. It is one of the few services with both cloud-native capabilities that are attractive to developers and the governance and management features needed by large enterprises.

    In fact, one of their “cautions” about our company included an important compliment. Gartner says that we “will be challenged to match the engineering resources available to the market leaders, and therefore challenged to maintain its platform lead.” We aren’t a big company, but our engineering team has accepted that challenge head on. We look forward to building on this lead in...

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    Under the Covers with Shantu, Episode 1: Global Search

    June 23, 2013
    By Shantu Roy - Sr. Product Manager. Find me on twitter: @shanturoy

    We’re starting a new video blog series here– one focused on diving into some of the new features our engineers are building in our products.  Why now?

    • Building cloud services is hard and requires serious engineering. We’ve learned a lot over the past 7 years, and like sharing our experiences. We’re often early adopters of technology that make distributed systems more powerful and easier to administer.
    • We have a perspective the community may be interested in.  The cloud is maturing from basic dev/test scenarios towards true mission critical applications.  We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the enterprise, and it requires a different mindset in a number of ways.  That is a topic we’ll be re-visiting from time to time.
    • We have matured our development processes.  With the arrival of some very senior engineering leadership, we have been able to dramatically accelerate how quickly we deploy new features in our global footprint of data centers.  We also have a number of relevant “customer-driven innovation” practices that have informed our thinking and roadmap priorities.

    First up: I speak with Troy from our dev team on our new global search feature.  The more VMs you have, the harder it can be to find them.  Several...

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    Highly-Available, Region-Specific, Elastic Storage – “Out of the Box”

    May 19, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    We generate massive amounts of data every day. Research firm IDC estimates that 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years, and the volume of data worldwide doubles every two years. Enterprises are a key contributor to this data explosion as we produce and share digital media, create global systems that collect and generate data, and retain an increasing number of backup and archive data sets. This rapid storage growth puts pressure on IT budgets and staff who have to constantly find and allocate more usable space. CenturyLink Cloud wants to help make that easier and just launched a new Object Storage service to provide you a secure, scalable destination for business data.

    What is Object Storage from CenturyLink Cloud? It’s a geo-redundant, elastic storage system for public and private digital data. Based on the innovative Riak CS Enterprise platform, Object Storage infrastructure is being deployed across three global regions: Canada, United States, and Europe. Each region consists of a pair of CenturyLink Cloud data centers that run Riak CS Enterprise on powerful, bare-metal servers. The Object Storage nodes are deployed in a “ring” configuration where data is evenly distributed across the nodes, thus assuring that your...

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    CMDBs and the Cloud: APIs will Keep Us Together

    May 13, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    While the cloud has become a welcome channel for companies refining their server footprint, it’s still rare to find an established business that is running solely in the cloud. Rather, many companies leverage the cloud for specific workloads and new cloud-first applications, while keeping other servers and applications in-house. But are you tracking your cloud servers the same way you track on-premises ones? Do you have a single place to see a list of ALL your servers and when they last changed? Configuration management databases (CMDBs) are a popular way to store information about IT assets such as who owns them, where they physically are, and their change history. How can you take advantage of the cloud while retaining a complete, up-to-date CMDB? One option is to programmatically link cloud servers to your CMDB through the use of cloud APIs. In this blog post, we’ll see an example of that process in action.

    #

    Step 1: Link Cloud Servers to CMDB Entries

    Let us first consider the “IT-as-a-Service” scenario where an internal customer portal serves as the launching pad for new cloud servers. Using the CenturyLink Cloud API, customers can easily provision and manage their cloud servers without ever logging into our Control...

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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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    Load Balancing, High Availability, and Disaster Recovery: What They Are and How We Can Help

    March 1, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    It’s easy for cloud customers to get confused about the roles and responsibilities of their internal team and their cloud vendor. That confusion is especially evident when it comes to application availability and business continuity planning. How does disaster recovery differ from high availability? Does my cloud provider automatically load balance my application servers? The answers to these questions are critical, but sometimes overlooked until a crisis occurs. In this post, we’ll talk about load balancing, high availability, and disaster recovery in the cloud, and what the CenturyLink Cloud’s cloud infrastructure has to offer.

    Load Balancing

    What is it?

    Wikipedia describes load balancing) as:

    Load balancing is a computer networking method to distribute workload across multiple computers or a computer cluster, network links, central processing units, disk drives, or other resources, to achieve optimal resource utilization, maximize throughput, minimize response time, and avoid overload. Using multiple components with load balancing, instead of a single component, may increase reliability through redundancy).

    You commonly see this technique employed in web applications where multiple web servers work together to handle inbound traffic. Load Balanced ApplicationThere are at least two reasons why load balancing is employed:

    • The required capacity is too large for a single machine. When running processes that consume a
    ...

    Read on...

    A Better Way to Provision Cloud Servers (And Why Templates Aren’t Enough)

    February 14, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    If you’ve ever looked at cloud server prices, or deployed a cloud server instance, you’ve likely noticed that most providers have a selection of “templates” to choose from. Users browse and select from a library of pre-baked server templates that contain combinations of compute, storage, operating systems, database technology, web servers, and commercial software. This isn’t the approach we take at CenturyLink Cloud, however.

    Why?

    We see at least two challenges with templates.

  • Impossible for providers to match complete need, and difficult for customers to maintain custom templates. The number of templates offered by leading cloud providers range from dozens to thousands. With templates, the provider aims to offer as many useful combinations of OS + software as possible. However, this requires providers to engage in an endless quest to assemble server images that are useful to customers.

    What if the customer doesn’t see anything they like? Sure, you can upload custom templates, but that shifts the maintenance responsibility to the customer. The provider may have automation tools available for updating and patching images, but enterprise IT departments may not have the necessary capabilities to do the care and feeding of a custom template library.

  • Not a complete replacement for the way enterprise IT builds
  • ...

    Read on...

    The 4 Cloud Integration Dimensions: The Architects Guide to Avoiding Silos

    January 28, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    Cloud adoption is growing significantly as more enterprises see the business value of having a scalable, elastic pool of computing resources at their fingertips. However, enterprise CIOs are concerned with building application silos in the cloud that don’t integrate with the rest of their systems, data, and infrastructure. One survey asked respondents to rank their areas of satisfaction for a set of SaaS applications and found that integration with on-premises systems was the area with the most frustration. Another survey found that 67% of CIOs reported problems integrating data between cloud applications. The long-term competitive advantage you gain from the cloud will likely depend – in part – on how well you can connect your assets, regardless of location. There are unique considerations for integrating with the cloud, but the core business needs remain the same. We at CenturyLink Cloud see four areas that require focus from both the cloud provider and the customer.

    Application Integration

    Each application – whether packaged or custom built – serves a unique functional purpose. Frequently, information from another applications is required to meet this purpose. For example, a CRM system may submit a query to an accounting system so that a call center agent can get...

    Read on...

    Anatomy of a Website Redesign: An Interview with CenturyLink Cloud’s Creative Directo

    January 13, 2013
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    CenturyLink Cloud recently launched a new version of the CenturyLink Cloud website. This was a complete site redesign and an important step in explaining why CenturyLink Cloud is a premier choice for your cloud computing needs. This redesign was led by Nathan Young, CenturyLink Cloud’s talented Creative Director and UI Designer. I sat down with Nate and asked him a few questions about the goals and technology behind the new website.

    Richard: I suspect that when you planned the CenturyLink Cloud re-design, you also looked at what our peers in the industry have done with their own web presence.  Without naming names, what sort of things did you see that you liked, and disliked?

    Nate: One thing we noticed while doing a competitive audit was that many cloud company websites felt very “cards close to the vest.” Granted, there would be tons of information, but nothing that actually shows what the customer experience is like. It felt like as if there was a standard checklist of benefits and specs that had to be on the site, but nothing to supports those claims with product experience demonstrations.

    Part of my job as Creative Director for CenturyLink Cloud is being an experience designer, so I...

    Read on...

    CenturyLink Cloud’s 2013 Cloud Predictions: 12 Days of Cloud

    November 21, 2012
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    2012 was a pivotal year for cloud computing as products matured and real customer success stories demonstrated the fundamental business value of the cloud.

    We expect that momentum to continue into 2013 and want to close this year with our “12 days of Cloud” predictions. Each day for the next 12 days, we’ll add a new, sometimes controversial, 2013 cloud prediction to this blog post.

    Agree with our predictions? Think we’re drinking too much eggnog? We want to hear where you think the cloud market is heading and what you’re looking for in the upcoming year. Write a blog post in response, enter our Cloud Prediction contest, send us a tweet, or leave a comment below!

    On with the predictions.

    Cloud Prediction #1:  2013 is the year of cloud management software. Cloud providers have matured to a point where cross-platform management layers will thrive and become mainstream. While widely-accepted IaaS standards are a ways off, organizations will look for solutions that let them manage their diverse cloud portfolio from a single interface.

    Cloud Prediction #2: **While the largest cloud providers duke it out on price and scale, smaller cloud providers see that enterprise adoption really depends on tight integration with existing tools and processes**. Rather...

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    Who Does What: A Look at Everyone’s Responsibilities in IaaS

    September 30, 2012
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    As organizations continue to get more comfortable with the idea of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), one area of confusion can still be “who does what?” While clouds, like the one offered by CenturyLink Cloud, deliver a wide variety of self-service capabilities and automated infrastructure management, not everything is simply “taken care of.” It’s dangerous to assume that something (e.g. high availability, data security) is handled by the software or the service provider when in fact it is not.  When plotting out usage of IaaS resources, it’s important for organizations to understand where they need their engineers, what the software will do for them, and what sorts of requests involve engineers from the CenturyLink Cloud Network Operations Center (NOC). In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the responsibilities of each actor.

    Customers

    Let’s start with the customer. There are a few things that a cloud customer does outside of any software provided by CenturyLink Cloud. For instance, it’s up to the customer to figure out who is going to be an administrator of the cloud and what the expected resource consumption is going to be. Our software is built to make it easy to actually define a cloud server configuration, but it’s...

    Read on...

    Small Feature, Big Impact: Executing Script Statements Against Groups of Cloud Servers

    September 24, 2012
    By Richard Seroter, Senior Product Manager. Find Richard on Twitter

    In last week’s cloud software release, we pushed out a subtle new capability that should pack a big punch for our customers. CenturyLink Cloud is constantly looking for ways to engineer a better server management experience for our IaaS customers, and we think that this a great example of that focus. In this blog post, I’ll describe this new feature, show you where to access it, and when you will want to use it.

    What is it?

    In a nutshell, users can now easily execute arbitrary script commands when creating or managing servers in our cloud. Windows users can choose between PowerShell and Windows Command scripts, while Linux users may use SSH scripts. Both the Command and SSH scripts execute directly on the target machine(s) whereas PowerShell scripts take advantage of the “remote PowerShell” capability.

    Where do I access it?

    We expose this capability in the two most relevant places. First, blueprint designers can include the Script activity when orchestrating new server environments

    When this Script task package is added to a blueprint, the blueprint designer is asked to choose both the target server and execution mode (PowerShell/Command/SSH), and then enter the actual script statement. In the “Script” textbox, the user inputs a single statement...

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    CenturyLink Cloud Unveils New Cloud Server Group Management Features

    July 28, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    Innovative Cloud-Based Group Management Features Mitigate Server Sprawl and Further Optimize Management, Monitoring and Reporting

    BELLEVUE, Wash. — August 28, 2012 ― CenturyLink Cloud, Inc., the enterprise cloud platform company, today introduced a new set of Server Group Management features that make it easier to maintain large server environments located in its Cloud. The newly unveiled capabilities provide users with a consistent and intuitive way to organize and manage virtual machines through group-based permissions, policies, bulk execution actions, and more.

    As organizations move more of their workloads to the Cloud, organizing and managing those server farms can become challenging, expensive and time-consuming. The CenturyLink Cloud Cloud Server Group Management capability gives system administrators the tools they need to navigate these challenges starting with the ability to logically group and manage their large-scale cloud deployments. Groups are intuitively integrated within both the CenturyLink Cloud Control Portal and programmatic API, allowing administrators to create collections of servers that have their own permissions, policies and default server configuration settings.  In addition, actions performed against the groups, such as rebooting or taking snapshots of a server, can be performed in bulk—allowing administrators to spend less time maintaining individual servers and more time optimizing their overall cloud...

    Read on...

    CenturyLink Cloud Automates Deployment of Complex, “Best Practice” Environments into

    July 16, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    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...

    Read on...

    A Look at Platform as a Service Application Monitoring

    July 16, 2012
    By

    New Relic has become a real leader in website performance analytics, and CenturyLink Cloud is thrilled to incorporate this service, for free, into our Platform as a Service service. For each application deployed to Platform as a Service, regardless of the language/framework that the application was written in, New Relic captures deep information about response time, throughput and more. While we’ve put some of the most interesting statistics directly in the CenturyLink Cloud Control Panel for at-a-glance viewing, we also enable you to drill right through to the New Relic site and discover even more valuable metrics. In this post, we’ll take a quick look at how we’ve incorporated New Relic’s monitoring data into the CenturyLink Cloud Control Portal.

    Previously, Platform as a Service users had a simple set of metrics about their running application(s) that included how much memory, CPU and storage was allocated for a given application. ![Platform as a Service Control Portal](/assets/images/blog/2012.06.NewRelicIntegration01.png) This resource allocation information is important, but application owners also REALLY want to know how well an application is performing for their users! The **brand new Control Panel dashboard** shows a subset of the New Relic metrics that begin to give you a picture of an application’s health. ![New...

    Read on...

    Automated provisioning of VPN

    July 6, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    Today we released automated provisioning of vpn services for our users. This is very exciting as it is part of our total goal of full automation and self servicing on our platform. Now with a single click of creating your server we will build out your VPN services without any configuration or setup from you all on demand. We have been working on this for a while and have been using this product under the covers which up until now was just for testing. If you already have VPN services with us then you will migrated over the next 6 months and someone from your account team will contact you. Here is a quick run down of the features:

    • No configuration required! All of the routing and setup is done for you automatically!
    • Works with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux
    • First concurrent user is free!
    • It will automatically build out your vpn server when you build your first server.
    • You can add or remove users via the control system
    • Only 25.00 per concurrent user and bandwidth costs per month.
    • Each customer gets their own instance which gives better performance and isolation than traditional models.
    • It is based on standard Open VPN which is widely tested and supported.
    • Can
    ...

    Read on...

    CenturyLink Cloud now supports Ubuntu!

    July 6, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    CenturyLink Cloud is pleased to announce the full support for all customers Ubuntu server in 32 and 64 bit version. As always there is no cost for deploying an open source OS. Ubuntu is now available for premium server deployment, lab deployment, cloning, archiving, and all the other features that our enhanced provisioning platform contains.

    ...

    Read on...

    Get Your vFabric On with Blueprints from CenturyLink Cloud

    July 6, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    Today CenturyLink Cloud announced access to a Starter Kit Blueprint for VMware vFabric on the CenturyLink Cloud Public Cloud. We know that most of you are busy enough with your job, so setting aside time to try the latest technologies is often hard to juggle. To make it a bit easier, we created the starter kit blueprint!

    This blueprint enables you to quickly deploy a small vFabric environment and be up and running in no time—without the need to troubleshoot.

    What is in it?

    The Starter Kit Blueprint for VMware vFabric comes with four virtual machine instances and the advanced vFabric applications:

    • vFabric tc Server: vFabric tc Server, the best place to build and run Java Spring applications, provides enterprise users with the lightweight server they want paired with the operational management, advanced diagnostics, and mission-critical support capabilities businesses need.
    • vFabric GemFire® Server: GemFire is a distributed data management platform providing dynamic scalability, high performance, and database-like persistence. It blends advanced techniques like replication, partitioning, data-aware routing, and continuous querying to help you.
    • vFabric Web Server: Unlike Apache, vFabric Web Server is pre-compiled, pre-configured and pre-patched, which reduces deployment times from a typical 3 days to 30 minutes. It has a consistent installation process and structure
    ...

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    Focused on High Availability

    July 6, 2012
    By

    Being focused on High Availability means not only focusing on unplanned downtime. It is also about at passionate resolution to eliminate planned downtime. A major indirect cost of IT Operations. An article by Dell quotes “Infonetics Research study, The Costs of Downtime: North American Medium Businesses 2006, found that mid-market enterprises (101-1,000 employees) lose an average of 1 percent of their annual revenues to downtime. Even more startling, another study has found that up to 40-50 percent of businesses that have suffered major service interruptions never recover completely, and fail within two to five years.” The article goes on to say the answer is virtualization. https://www.dell.com/downloads,global.power/ps4q06-200701169-ziff.pdf

    ...

    Read on...

    Control System Updates!

    July 6, 2012
    By

    We are always working to resolve bugs and add features to the control system. This update is a major bug update and here are the items that have been fixed in this build!

    • Incorrect calculation of total server resources allocated to an account which was causing errors on server create.
    • Create snapshot button was available when it should not be.
    • Archived Lab Groups appeared in the Lab Group DDL on new server create.
    • Fixed error that occurred when creating new Accounts (no bug was created for this).
    • Added Account Alias validation to ensure that duplicate Account Aliases do not get created.
    • Fixed the DateTime display on the Lab Scheduled Task list to be customer time zone aware, as opposed to displaying in UTC
    • DNS Management errors on updating and creating aliases

    If you have any questions please feel free to let us know.

    ...

    Read on...

    32 GB of RAM servers from the control system and multiple IP addresses

    July 6, 2012
    By

    32 GB of ram servers from the control system and multiple IP addresses!

     

    We released build 690 today of our platform and other than the usual bug fixes and tweaks we added two new features:

    32 GB servers from the Control Portal and API

    Now you can add up to 32 GB of RAM to any server when ever you want with no long term commit as it is just hourly. Scale it up or down when needed!

    To do this via the control system simply go to the server you are wanting to change and click the edit server button. Once there it is just a reboot away (about 1 minute of downtime) and you now have the ram needed from 1 GB to 32 GB within minutes.

    Multiple IP addresses to a single server

    With our new multiple IP address feature you can add the IP addresses that you need for a specific server all via the control system. To add an IP address go to Networks > IP Addresses > Add External Address. From there you can add an external IP address to your server or have it assign a new address for you. Once you have added an external address or...

    Read on...

    CenturyLink Cloud Enhances Industry-Leading SLA

    July 6, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    CenturyLink Cloud Enhances Industry-Leading SLA CenturyLink Cloud has enhanced their industry-leading SLA with the following changes:

  • Incident Reports: CenturyLink Cloud will provide Customer with an Incident Report via e-mail within twenty-four (24) hours of an incident for incidents resulting in greater than thirty (30) minutes of downtime. The Incident Report will include: incident date, duration, issue, details of the problem and details of the resolution.

  • Outage Credit Improvements:

  • Increased maximum credit from 100% to 150% of fees for the impacted service(s) for the billing month.
  • Eliminated CenturyLink Cloud’s discretion in the adjustment of credits awarded.
  • To review the updated SLA in its entirety http://www.tier3.com/legal/sla.

    ...

    Read on...

    Control System Updates Build 672

    July 6, 2012
    By

    Build 672 has gone live with new features and bug fixes for the vpn service and control system. Here are some of the key new features:

    • Managing VPN Max Concurrent Users): You now have the ability to control the number of concurrent users and control your costs. In our system the first concurrent connection is always at no cost and anything after that is at $15.00 / Month. Now you can go in and change this level at any time. So if you need to add more concurrent users go to control.tier3.com > network tab > vpn > edit vpn settings.
    • Two Factor Authentication with Active Directory: Now you can configure your vpn service to do two factor authentication via active directory. This will require the user to have not only a certificate but will be prompted for their active directory credentials.
    • New Templates: Added Windows XP 32-bit, Windows Vista 32-bit, Windows Vista 64-bit, and Windows 7 32-bit templates.
    • Welcome Screen: We have added your CPU, Memory, and Storage counts to the welcome page.

    There was a total of 20 bugs that also were fixed in the current build. As always if you need anything please let us know as we are constantly adding new...

    Read on...

    Building Servers with the CenturyLink Cloud API

    July 6, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    Any service provider worth its salt has to have an API. It’s one of the first questions we ask our providers and understandably one we get asked a lot as well. With our latest release we also updated our API, so I figured what better way to show off the API that with a sample of how easy it is to build a server.

    First using Visual Studio 2010 we’ll install RestSharp using NuGet (if you don’t have NuGet installed stop reading and do yourself a favor and install it).

    Install-Package RestSharp

    Then create a rest client pointing at the CenturyLink Cloud API.

    `private RestClient Client = new RestClient("https://api.ctl.io/rest");

    Now we are ready to call the API. Once you create an API user in your account you can use it to logon and store the authentication in the client cookies.

    `var request = new RestRequest("/auth/logon"); request.Method = Method.POST; request.RequestFormat = DataFormat.Json; request.AddBody(new { APIKey = "b3b41e0818ad4dfdb9d43c964f680de1", Password = "plAtform6{+*" }); ` `var response = Client.Execute(request); var content = DeserializeContent(response); if (content.StatusCode != 0) throw new ApplicationException(content.Message); ` `if (Client.CookieContainer == null) Client.CookieContainer = new System.Net.CookieContainer(); ` `response.Cookies .Select(c => new Cookie(c.Name, c.Value, c.Path, c.Domain)) .ToList() .ForEach(c => Client.CookieContainer.Add(c));`

    You’ll notice a few helpers methods I created to deal with deserializing the JSON response into a...

    Read on...

    FreeBSD added to our library and more features!

    July 6, 2012
    By

    Build 775 has gone live with new features and bug fixes the control system. Here are some of the key new features:

    • Added FreeBSD 32 and 64bit template
    • Added Windows XP 32bit template
    • Added Windows Vista 32 and 64bit template
    • Added Windows 7 32 and 64bit template
    • Enhanced Linux server provisioning where network override file was not correctly being cleared of IP addresses

    There was a total of 20 bugs that also were fixed in the current build. As always if you need anything please let us know as we are constantly adding new features and fixes.

    ...

    Read on...

    New Control Panel Interface!

    July 6, 2012
    By

    We are pleased to announce our new control panel interface with the following new features:

    • New dashboard page that shows the account billing summary and also overall bandwidth for the account.
    • Increased logon performance by 10x so that you wont have to wait for the dashboard page to load.
    • New server list page that shows the CPU, Storage Allocation, and Memory usage.
    • Server Price calculator now shows the hourly cost of each component of a server before build out.
    • and much more!

    The new interface is part of a big effort to optimize the user experience for all of our customers and increase overall speed in gaining access to critical data. There are over 50 additional bugs fixed in this latest build. Thanks CenturyLink Cloud Team

    ...

    Read on...

    ChemPoint.com Selects CenturyLink Cloud for Continuous Innovation and Growth

    July 3, 2012
    By

    CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise platform provides the security, stability, efficiency and flexibility needed to support ChemPoint’s continuous application development BELLEVUE, Wash., June 23, 2011—ChemPoint.com, the leading e-distributor of specialty and fine chemicals in Europe and North America, has selected enterprise cloud platform company CenturyLink Cloud as its IT infrastructure services partner. ChemPoint conducted an evaluation of multiple offerings before choosing CenturyLink Cloud for its innovation and growth potential. According to ChemPoint, CenturyLink Cloud’s platform provides the security, stability, efficiency and flexibility needed to support the company’s continuous application development and business growth. “While our innovative applications platform has continued to evolve and provide a strong leadership position within our industry, our underlying infrastructure hasn’t kept pace over the past few years,” said Jeff Trimble, vice president of operations and technology at ChemPoint. “The move to CenturyLink Cloud expands our infrastructure capabilities and creates tremendous flexibility. This allows us to focus our technology resources on the differentiating elements that drive our business.” Jared Wray, chief technology officer of CenturyLink Cloud, noted, “Companies moving their applications online need to feel completely confident that their information is secure and quickly accessible at all times. We built our enterprise cloud platform with...

    Read on...

    CenturyLink Cloud Raises $8.5 Million For Its Enterprise Platform As A Service

    July 3, 2012
    By Jason Verge

    CenturyLink Cloud has raised a $8.5m series A round to help solve the enterprise PaaS problem. The network engineer- and developer-designed PaaS solution has been built for and is aimed strictly for the enterprise, taking into consideration many factors that other developer- and SMB-focused PaaS providers tend to ignore, mainly considerations in the areas of security and compliance. There’s a lot of value-add in CenturyLink Cloud’s treatment of the platform layer, backed by four years of IP and some serious talent in the industry. It’s an up-and-coming firm worth noting.

    How CenturyLink Cloud PaaS cracks the enterprise

    There is a three-pronged approach when it comes to entering the enterprise, founded on automation, abstraction and environments. CenturyLink Cloud automates the best practices associated with setting up and scaling front- or back-office infrastructure. It aims to remove dependency on physical hardware. And in terms of environments, it offers deployable, optimized business environments in addition to APIs and infrastructure optimization. Currently in two datacenters, it’s mapped out two more for the fall. The company takes a zone approach to North America, dividing by West, East and Central. The first East Coast datacenter will be added later this year, as well as another in the Central...

    Read on...

    CenturyLink Cloud to Bring Enterprise-Grade Virtual Private Cloud to New York with Ne

    July 3, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    CenturyLink Cloud’s Multi-Region Architecture Provides Highly Available, Secure Hybrid Cloud for Business Continuity, Business Agility New York, NY. – October 5, 2011

    Today at Interop NY, enterprise cloud platform provider CenturyLink Cloud announced that it will add a data center in the New York metro area to complete the multi-region architecture of its enterprise-grade infrastructure as a service solution. New York joins Seattle and Chicago for a three-region model that enhances the high availability and built-in business continuity of the CenturyLink Cloud enterprise cloud. With its intuitive management controls, high performing, highly availability infrastructure and platform-agnostic orchestration and automation layer, CenturyLink Cloud meets the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) requirements of companies wishing to deploy public or virtual private (hybrid) clouds for increased business agility.

    Enterprises across the country are actively identifying apps they can move to a virtual private cloud, but to do so they are demanding a true enterprise-grade cloud platform that provides control, transparency, security, performance and a high availability five 9 SLA,” said Adam Wray, CEO, CenturyLink Cloud. “These customers also want to benefit from the peace of mind of built-in business continuity features and the value that advanced operation automation or auto-ops capabilities bring to significantly reducing...

    Read on...

    CenturyLink Cloud Accelerates Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Adoption, Opens Data Centers with Equinix

    July 3, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    BELLEVUE, Wash. and REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – August 9, 2011 – CenturyLink Cloud, an enterprise cloud platform provider, and Equinix (Nasdaq: EQIX), a global data center services provider, today announced the Fall 2011 opening of two new CenturyLink Cloud data centers residing within Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX®) facilities in Chicago and Ashburn, Va. CenturyLink Cloud selected Equinix for the company’s enterprise-grade connectivity, global presence and carrier-neutral environment, which will enable CenturyLink Cloud to better meet the ever-increasing demand for secure, hybrid clouds in the enterprise. The data center in Chicago opens September 1, with the one in Ashburn opening in early Q4. “To enhance their business agility, an increasing number of enterprises are actively identifying apps they can move to the public cloud,” said Adam Wray, CEO, CenturyLink Cloud. “Equinix IBX facilities extend CenturyLink Cloud’s enterprise cloud story by providing a key component our clients need for their hybrid production apps—a single, secure, performance-optimized connection. Combining the Equinix Direct Connect capabilities with our agile and intelligent Enterprise Cloud platform provides flexibility, speed and scalability of deployment for these customers.

    A hybrid cloud refers to an environment where some data, applications and services are kept in-house and others reside in the...

    Read on...

    NetApp highlights CenturyLink Cloud’s successful deployment of NetApp gear to acceler

    July 3, 2012
    By

    NetApp recently posted a CenturyLink Cloud customer success story showcasing the impressive results we’ve been able to attain for our customers since implementing NetApp storage systems and associated software. Here are some of the notable benefits:

    • Helped provided enterprise-level backup and DR services at 10 times less cost than in-house infrastructures
    • Reclaimed 67% of storage in virtualized environment
    • Reduced backups of entire data center from 24 hours to one hour
    • Can now offer one-to eight-hour SLA for disaster recovery to every client

    By managing our storage environment and optimizing storage utilization with NetApp, we’ve been able to save time and money – in turn passing those savings along to our customers. Our expanding relationship with NetApp will continue to be a valuable asset as we continue to grow our operations and expand our cloud storage infrastructure to more SMBs. Click here to read the entire success story.

    ...

    Read on...

    10 Considerations For Cloud SaaS

    July 3, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    Note: Added in the text of the original 2011 article published at TechRepublic.

    Beyond the business challenges of serving customers in new ways online, independent software vendors (ISVs) planning to take their applications online must make critical architectural and platform choices to ensure they deliver the best customer experience possible. Consider these 10 things before you make the move.

    1: How much do you really need to rebuild?

    Must you rewrite your application to achieve a multi-tenancy application layer — a costly undertaking — or are there easier and less expensive ways to achieve multi-tenancy in the cloud?

    2: What kind of uptime and disaster recovery do your end customers need?

    Many cloud environments are built for economy and scale but as we’ve seen recently, they lack the fault tolerance and redundancy to enable you to pass an enterprise level SLA to your customers. Make sure that your cloud platform is built for the enterprise — five 9s availability SLAs should cover not only servers but also network and storage (all the layers to power the full environment). In addition, when outages happen, ensure that the mean time to recovery track record is strong. How fast the cloud can recover is key.

    3: How can you...

    Read on...

    CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Cloud Platform Attains VMware vCloud® Powered Validation

    July 3, 2012
    By CenturyLink Cloud Product Management

    BELLEVUE, Wash.— July 26, 2011— CenturyLink Cloud today announced that its Enterprise Cloud Platform public cloud service has achieved VMware vCloud® Powered status, illustrating to customers that the company’s cloud services are underpinned by VMware’s leading virtualization and cloud computing technology, namely VMware vSphere® and VMware vCloud Director. A member of the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) , CenturyLink Cloud—via its VMware vCloud Powered service, the CenturyLink Cloud Enterprise Cloud Platform—delivers a set of cloud computing services across a common platform, supporting the largest set of existing applications, and offering the distinctive application mobility only available from VMware.

    High performing production applications in the cloud require enterprise-quality virtual machines offered in an enterprise-grade cloud platform. VMware is the standard for enterprise virtualization and is the ultimate ‘check box’ new customers tick off when considering CenturyLink Cloud for an enterprise-grade cloud,” said Jared Wray, chief technology officer, CenturyLink Cloud. “When VMware vCloud technologies are combined with our unique intellectual property in virtualization, security and automation, enterprise customers get a highly available, secure, enterprise-grade hybrid cloud with management capabilities consistent with their own virtualized, private cloud implementations.“ “The VMware vCloud® Powered program was developed to enable our service provider partners to differentiate themselves...

    Read on...


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