Using Cloud Services without Console Access

Updated by Jared Ruckle on Sep 15, 2015


IT Operations

CenturyLink Cloud does not offer console access to cloud servers. So now what?

Some IT pros may be accustomed to managing environments with this capability. Here are a few ideas and strategies to help system administrators build and maintain environments without it.

  • Follow proper change management for VM modifications as well as for the applications inside them. Use snapshots when a roll-back of VM “state” is desired. NOTE: this only works for VMs on standard storage, and those with less than 1 TB of storage.

  • Virtual machines, by definition, are not indestructible. Accordingly, build services and applications such that they can be easily deployed (and re-deployed) on new VMs. From there, admins can then place the new VM back into a service rotation. Blueprints are a great way to load software onto a single VM, or a group of them.

  • Treat VMs as "parts" that simply can be replaced outside of the end user purview. Users should never even know that VMs are getting swapped in and out. Load balancers, database clustering, and cloud-native application architectures (running on AppFog) are services and approaches to consider.

  • For mission critical services, always have a QA environment available for testing. Here, developers can validate changes against a code base without touching production servers. Use automated tools that can re-build a QA environment quickly when OS-level corruption occurs in test VMs. CenturyLink Cloud offers Blueprints, SDKs, and APIs to help quickly re-build infrastructure environments. Our cloud services also support configuration management tools like Chef and Puppet, which can also be used to quickly build out new environments.

  • Operate “above the operating system”. CenturyLink Cloud offers several services that manage the OS for administrators – AppFog and Orchestrate are just a few. In all of these scenarios, the service is available for consumption according to an SLA, and OS-level issues are not the user’s concern.

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