CenturyLink Innovations Lab - FAQ

Updated by David Gardner on Jun 01, 2015


The CenturyLink Innovations Lab is part of the Research and Development arm of CenturyLink. The primary goal of the Innovations Lab is to research ways to use new and innovative technologies to simplify the process of creating, testing and deploying software. The Lab is focused on improving the lives of software engineers and operations team members who work at the intersection of agile development, distributed cloud systems, and open source software with a focus on Docker and container-oriented technologies.

The main tenets of the Lab are: transparency, foresight and pragmatism. The team is composed of engineers, designers and technologists who are passionate about innovation and open-source software. The Lab regularly publishes open source software and shares insights on Docker and container-based technologies on its blog. To learn more about the team, please visit: www.centurylinklabs.com/about.

Where can I learn more about Innovations Lab projects?

To date, the Innovations Lab has launched four (4) open source software projects related to Docker and Container technologies. These projects are not recommended for Production use, but are great tools for exploring Docker and related technologies on Development and Test environments, staging servers, and continuous integration and deployment pipelines. These projects include:

  • Panamax - A downloadable application that provides a simple GUI deploying complex containerized apps as easy as Drag-and-Drop. Check out the Panamax home page and this short video on Youtube.
  • Lorry - Browser-based validator and builder for editing and sharing Docker Compose YAML files.
  • ImageLayers - Visualize Docker images and the layers that compose them. See how each command in the Dockerfile contributes to the final image, and discover which layers are shared by multiple images.
  • Dray - An engine for managing the execution of container-based workflows using short-lived, single purpose containers.

To learn more about the projects produced by the Innovations Lab, please visit: www.centurylinklabs.com/projects or view the source code of all the projects on our GitHub page.

How can I learn more about the research and insights produced by the Innovations Lab?

In addition to its open source software projects, the Lab makes much of its research available online through the following:

  • The blog has over 100 helpful posts on recommended development patterns, code and configuration examples, deployment best practices, and more, all focused on Docker and container-based systems.
  • Sign-up for the weekly newsletter to receive useful insights and advice, industry news, interesting projects, and relevant job postings.
  • Helpful tutorials provide real-world "How To" examples for configuring, deploying, and managing Docker applications and container-related technologies.
  • Get the inside scoop on what all the fuss is about, industry trends, and interesting start-ups from interviews with industry leaders, technologists and entrepreneurs, hosted by Lucas Carlson. These interviews are also available as podcasts.

What is the relationship between the CenturyLink Innovations Lab to the CenturyLink Cloud team?

The Innovations Lab explores technologies and ideas not yet ready for Production usage, while the CenturyLink Cloud offers products, support and professional services teams to effectively service the demanding requirements of Production workloads.

How can I get support for the Lab's Open Source Software projects?

Software from the Innovations Lab software is free, but comes without any guarantee or commercial support. For help, we recommend that you confirm you've carefully followed the instructions on the project's Github page (typically found in the "../../general/readme/" file). If you are still experiencing issues, consider these options:

  • For Panamax-related questions, search through forum posts and responses on the Panamax Google Group page.
  • General support questions can also be submitted via the Lab's support page. There is no response SLA, but generally the team responds within 24-48 hours.

How do I provide feedback?

For feedback or suggestions to any of our open source projects, please submit an issue via Github. For example, to request a change (or submit one yourself) to Lorry.io, please submit an issue request via the project's Github page. Also, Panamax users can submit and vote on their favorite ideas on our feedback site.

This sounds great! How do I get more involved?

It's easy, and the team welcomes your feedback and contributions. The source code for our open source projects is freely available under the Apache 2.0 license on the CenturyLink Innovations Lab's Github page.