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Cloud IaaS Price/Performance Benchmarking – Part 1

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.

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

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 than competing with Amazon, Google or Microsoft on price, some providers will focus on value: helping enterprises use their existing people, processes and technology to extend their data centers into the cloud. Forward-thinking cloud providers will increase native integration with popular on-premises tools and offer services that complement the existing technology standards of their customers.

Cloud Prediction #3: Enterprises move from pilots to projects, and architecture takes a front seat. Less evangelism, more execution. Companies now understand the value proposition and risks of cloud. Architecture expertise will be in demand as companies look to effectively design their network and storage landscape to take advantage of distributed cloud services.   Job title that will start to be more prevalent during period as I T anoints designated change agents:  Cloud Strategist, Cloud Architect, Cloud SWOT Leader.

Cloud Prediction #4: Enterprises start to embrace NoSQL databases like Cassandra and Riak, and JavaScript becomes a legitimate part of some enterprise applications. Cloud architects will begin to bring some of the most popular and modern cloud-friendly technologies into the enterprise.  Relational databases will remain a critical part of the enterprise portfolio, but cloud architects will begin to pilot and deploy the distributed systems used by the most forward-thinking web properties today. Developers will continue to depend on .NET and Java, but the momentum behind JavaScript and Node.js will begin to seep into enterprise IT departments and become part of lightweight web services and single page applications (SPAs).

Cloud Prediction #5: Standalone, public PaaS offerings will be slow to gain enterprise adoption. PaaS may certainly be the future of the cloud, but today, enterprises need the control and flexibility of IaaS to migrate existing applications while customizing new ones.  Innovative providers will bring IaaS and PaaS together and give customers the choice of where to run each workload.

Cloud Prediction #6: Public goes private. It will be a long time (if ever) before the Fortune 500 really goes all in on the public cloud. Smart cloud providers recognize this and try to commercialize their public solutions to bring it behind the corporate firewall. 

Cloud Prediction #7: Cloud providers embrace alternate costing models. Today, free-tiers and pay-for-capacity are the dominant cloud pricing models. Look for cloud companies to start differentiating by offering actual pay-per-consumption pricing as billing and metering becomes more sophisticated.

Cloud Prediction #8: While portability will increase at the application and hypervisor layer, middleware and environment metadata will remain more proprietary. We’re seeing that enterprises want choice in the hypervisor that runs their cloud, and many providers are embracing a mix of OpenStack, vSphere, CloudStack and more. Similarly, initiatives like Cloud Foundry Core demonstrate real interest in ensuring that applications can move seamlessly between providers. Conversely, few cloud providers offer a way to migrate network/firewall/application delivery settings from one provider to the next. Likewise, while most cloud companies offer open-source (or commercial) messaging and database services, we also see that large providers are betting on databases and higher-level services that are unique to the given provider. Over time, as IaaS API standards emerge, we expect to see a rise in portability for environment metadata.

Cloud Prediction #9: Global expansion takes center stage. An enterprise cloud needs an enterprise footprint. Cloud providers with US-only or token Europe/Asia support will struggle to become the primary provider of enterprise cloud services.

Cloud Prediction #10: IaaS providers who don’t court developers get left behind. Clouds have to be developer friendly. This includes integration with source control repositories like Git, IDE support for deployment and debugging, guidance for continuous integration and deployment, and more. It won’t matter if your CIO chooses a particular cloud - if the developers can’t embrace it, then it will only serve as a destination for migrated, legacy apps.

Cloud Prediction #11: Clouds that cannot be remotely managed through an API will fall behind. As cloud management suites rise to prominence, and enterprises look to integrate cloud services into their existing management tools, having a well-documented, expansive API will be critical.

Cloud Prediction #12: Usability and self-service become table stakes for cloud providers. Customers demand more and more self-service capabilities and won’t widely accept cloud services that require human intervention to provision or modify. Usability takes a front seat as companies expand their use of provider-specific administration tools and don’t want to invest heavily in employee training.

Thanks for sticking with us through all twelve days. These are our opinions. What’s yours? Let us know!

Share your thoughts and enter to win a little holiday joy in the form of a $100 gift card!  Tell us your 2013 Cloud Prediction!

 

PEER 1 Hosting and CenturyLink Cloud Bring Enterprise-grade Cloud to Canada

Expansion of global partnership to North America delivers superior solution to enterprises requiring geo-specific services

VANCOUVER, BC – December 10, 2012PEER 1 Hosting (TSX:PIX), the global IT hosting provider, and CenturyLink Cloud, the enterprise cloud platform company, today announced that their VMware-based, enterprise-grade cloud platform is now available in Canada. Businesses can now deploy applications on secure, enterprise cloud services in nodes located in Toronto today and Vancouver early next year.

Built with IT and development operations in mind, enterprise cloud services from PEER 1 Hosting and CenturyLink Cloud include IaaS, PaaS and advanced cloud management.  This complete cloud platform helps businesses reduce IT complexity and operational burden.  The joint offering addresses the enterprise cloud requirement for “data sovereignty” – ensuring that data is stored and managed according to Canadian rules and regulations.  In addition to compliance with Canadian requirements, the partnership offers customers global scale, with additional nodes in North America and Europe. 

Global enterprises can scale their CenturyLink Cloud-based enterprise cloud effortlessly by leveraging PEER 1 Hosting’s proprietary 10Gbps FastFiber Network™ to connect the Toronto node and planned Vancouver node to data centers in London and Portsmouth, U.K. or easily extend infrastructure to additional CenturyLink Cloud nodes in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Salt Lake City. Enterprises now have flexibility to maintain independent, secure clouds within specific countries to address data sovereignty concerns or spread their cloud across multiple locations of their choosing within North America and Europe. Customers will also benefit from regionalized disaster recovery services.

“Cloud computing is about flexibility, reducing complexity, and minimizing operational costs. By bringing our partnership with CenturyLink Cloud to Canada, we are now enabling both Canadian and global enterprises to take advantage of a complete enterprise-grade cloud platform delivered with award winning service,” said Jay Newman, senior vice president, PEER 1 Hosting.

“Enterprises moving business-critical applications to the cloud have stringent cloud selection requirements. With the expansion of CenturyLink Cloud’s cloud to Canada, in partnership with PEER 1 Hosting, enterprises now have a compelling cloud solution for their entire application portfolio, from development to business-critical workloads. And, advanced cloud management built-in means businesses realize IT operational efficiency and development agility today,” said Mark Cravotta, senior vice president, CenturyLink Cloud.

Carl Brooks, infrastructure services analyst at 451 Group, said, “PEER 1 Hosting and CenturyLink Cloud operate as very successful providers on their own, making it a mutually beneficial relationship. The move into North America further validates their partnership: CenturyLink Cloud gets access to PEER 1 Hosting’s international audience and established hosting expertise, while PEER 1 gets a top-of-the-line IaaS service offering for its customers. The result is a compelling enterprise-grade cloud for end users that the company can expand swiftly to meet demand.”

PEER 1 Hosting’s and CenturyLink Cloud’s enterprise cloud platform drives tangible return on investment and reduces time to market for cloud-based applications.To learn more about PEER 1 Hosting’s and CenturyLink Cloud’s enterprise-grade cloud, read the whitepaper, Time to Move on from the Commodity Cloud or visit http://www.peer1.com/enterprise-cloud-peer1-tier3.

About PEER 1 Hosting

PEER 1 Hosting is one of the world’s leading IT hosting providers. The company is built on two obsessions: Ping & People. Ping, represents its commitment to best-in-breed technology, founded on a high performance 10Gbps FastFiber Network™ and 25K miles of fiber, we’re connected by 19 state-of-the-art datacenters, 21 points-of-presence and 10 colocation facilities in 14 cities throughout North America and Europe. People, represents its commitment to delivering outstanding customer service to its more than 10,000 customers worldwide, backed by a 100 percent uptime guarantee and 24x7x365 FirstCall Support™. Founded in 1999, the company is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. PEER 1 Hosting shares are traded on the TSX under the symbol PIX. For more information visit: www.peer1.com or www.peer1hosting.co.uk. Follow PEER 1 Hosting on Twitter: PEER1.

About CenturyLink Cloud

CenturyLink Cloud unleashes business agility through unique, enterprise-class cloud services and software that puts global companies on the path to IT as a Service. The company’s virtual public cloud services combine both infrastructure (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) in a comprehensive platform. The CenturyLink Cloud Cloud increases IT operational efficiency and flexibility through advanced cloud orchestration and management capabilities. Global enterprises and service providers find the CenturyLink Cloud Cloud ideal for their entire business application portfolios, from development to production environments and mission-critical applications. The Company is based in Bellevue, WA, with regional presence in multiple locations in North America and Europe.  For more information visit http://www.tier3.com.

For more information:

Concept PR on behalf of CenturyLink Cloud

Stacey Burbach

602-279-1137 Stacey@conceptpr.net

 

March Communications on behalf of Peer 1 Hosting

Sarah Love

(+1) 617-960-9881

PEER1HostingUS@marchpr.com

 

MAVERICK Public Relations on behalf of Peer 1 Hosting

Amanda Laird 416-640-5525 ext. 245 amandal@maverickpr.com

 

 

Cloud Foundry, Core Compatibility, and CenturyLink Cloud

As we often say here at CenturyLink Cloud, the cloud should create choice, not limit it.  And today is a good day for that guiding philosophy.

We’re excited about a new program from Cloud Foundry - the Cloud Foundry Core.   Their blog entry today sums up the news:

The Cloud Foundry team is happy to announce Cloud Foundry Core  -  a program designed to preserve cloud application portability. In the cloud computing world, preserving a choice of clouds is critical. The risks of being locked into a single cloud are substantial. Pricing, reliability, geographic location and compliance can all vary between clouds. Business requirements will evolve over time, necessitating the ability to move between clouds, whether public to private, private to public or between public cloud providers.

Why this is a Good Thing for Developers and Enterprise IT

Enterprises to different degrees have embraced cloud infrastructure-as-a-service, and are now looking to see what platform-as-a-service offers.  Developers of course are leading the charge here.

The benefits of PaaS are straightforward enough – the PaaS does some of the heavy lifting for developers, including load balancing.  Over time, as PaaS becomes more capable, development within the enterprise becomes cheaper and faster, while lowering risk.  Why?  The PaaS abstracts more platform-level operations away from the dev.  It’s the “focus on your app” message to a much greater degree.

But unlike with IaaS, many developers and IT leaders are worried about vendor “lock-in”.  The Core certification is a step in the right direction, since customers now have some elements of portability.  The Core program is really about peace of mind - developers can now move their apps to different providers with confidence and relative ease should conditions arise.

Why CenturyLink Cloud is a Launch Partner

Cloud application portability is vital to realizing the full promise of cloud computing.  That’s been our take for a while now – after all, our Platform as a Service product is built on Cloud Foundry and Iron Foundry.  The latter is open source project started by CenturyLink Cloud to extend Cloud Foundry to the .NET ecosystem.

We want to help shape this flexible, compatible, and interoperable future of cloud computing – that’s why the Core program is so exciting for us.  Look for more news, developments, and investments from CenturyLink Cloud along these lines.

So Now What?

On the main page of the Cloud Foundry Core Web Application you can enter an API path to any provider, with several provided by default, to determine what is or isn’t supported with that provider.

Platform as a Service, CenturyLink Cloud’s PaaS product, offers extensive compatibility, as noted the Cloud Foundry Core listing.  We also carry the polyglot banner and support apps authored in:

  • .NET
  • Java
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Node.js
  • Ruby

 

Adding to this list is a roadmap priority for us. In fact, we have recently added support for some languages that are unavailable in any other PaaS today.  For example:

  • Erlang - With Erlang you can write some of the most performant code for multi-core, multi-processor, threaded systems on the planet.  Also, Erlang is one of the most resilient languages available with performance and scaling you’ll not find anywhere else.
  • .NET CLR v2 and v4 – Since .NET is one of the largest languages used in the enterprise, it was a “must have” for CenturyLink Cloud. With the Iron Foundry Project we’ve enabled .NET as a complete add-on with total native Windows support for Cloud Foundry. With .NET that provides the largest two languages full support on the CenturyLink Cloud Platform as a Service Platform by combining the capabilities of Cloud Foundry and Iron Foundry together.

Congratulations to the Cloud Foundry Community – CenturyLink Cloud is excited to be part of it and look forward to continuing development of Cloud Foundry and Iron Foundry as well as momentum for the category of PaaS technologies.

What are your thoughts on cloud application portability?  Let us know in the comments.

 

CenturyLink Cloud Closes $10M Series B Funding Led by Intel Capital

Enterprise Cloud Platform Provider Sets Sights on Expanding its Innovative Cloud Service Offering and Worldwide Growth

CenturyLink Cloud, Inc., the enterprise cloud platform company, today announced $10 million in Series B financing led by Intel Capital, with participation from returning investors Ignition Capital and Madrona Venture Group. This latest investment brings CenturyLink Cloud’s total financing to $18.5 million.

Since its founding in 2006, CenturyLink Cloud has focused on delivering enterprise-class cloud infrastructure (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) capabilities to global enterprises. The company is recognized for providing a comprehensive set of enterprise-grade cloud services in a unified platform. CenturyLink Cloud recently announced new cloud server group management capabilities to provide customers precise control of their workloads while minimizing server sprawl. This latest round of funding will allow CenturyLink Cloud to work with large global partners, such as the newly announced relationship with PEER 1 Hosting, extending its reach internationally, while continuing to build upon its core value proposition of IT operational agility and efficiency through comprehensive cloud services enhanced by orchestration, automation and advanced management capabilities.

“The CenturyLink Cloud team has the technical ability and execution focus required to help transform the enterprise cloud market segment,” said Bryan Wolf, managing director at Intel Capital. “CenturyLink Cloud will continue to be a key cloud innovator and its focus on global expansion will help to spur worldwide cloud infrastructure adoption. Intel Capital is excited to work with CenturyLink Cloud during its next phase of innovation and growth.”

Intel Capital is Intel’s global investment and M&A organization and focuses its investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Its investments include AVG, BrightEdge Technologies Inc., CareCloud and VMware.

“We are pleased to announce this investment from Intel Capital, and we look forward to working with them to leverage their expertise in data center optimization. Additionally, with support from Intel Capital and our existing partners Ignition and Madrona, we will work to strengthen and increase our industry presence, accelerate our innovation and expand our global footprint,” said Jared Wray, founder and CEO at CenturyLink Cloud.

About CenturyLink Cloud

CenturyLink Cloud unleashes business agility through unique, enterprise-class cloud services and software that puts global companies on the path to IT as a Service.  The company’s virtual private cloud services combine both infrastructure (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) in a comprehensive platform. The CenturyLink Cloud Cloud increases IT operational efficiency and flexibility through advanced cloud orchestration and management capabilities. Global enterprises and service providers find the CenturyLink Cloud Cloud ideal for their entire business application portfolios, from development to production environments and business-critical applications.  The Company is based in Bellevue, WA, with regional presence in multiple locations in North America and Europe. www.tier3.com