Light Reading

CenturyLink Cloud Goes Hyper

Carol Wilson
2/26/2014
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CenturyLink today offered the first peek inside its new cloud organization, launching a new Hyperscale high performance server instance that becomes part of what the company believes is a broad range of service that CenturyLink Cloud will integrate for its customers (See CenturyLink Launches Hyperscale Cloud.)

The combination of the cloud acquisitions of CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), CenturyLink Cloud is built on the Tier 3 cloud platform, which has been integrated into Savvis hosted and managed services and uses the AppFog platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capabilities. The goal is to also utilize CenturyLink network services and integrate a package of cloud and connectivity that meets the varied needs of enterprises moving to the cloud (See CenturyLink Brings Savvis Into Brand Alignment and CenturyLink Shows Cloud Is Still Critical.)

"In 2014, cloud is a when, not an if for most companies," says Richard Seroter, senior product manager. "But clouds aren't meant to be silos. Companies don't want this weird thing sitting out there that doesn't talk to its other applications. We are moving to where you have a lot of different places to run different workloads, all under the same umbrella."

The latest addition to the arsenal is Hyperscale, designed for widely distributed, Web-scale applications that Seroter says are becoming the new class of cloud app. In addition to the new service, CenturyLink is announcing expansion of its global data centers in the first half of 2014, which will include Paris and London, as well as Santa Clara, Calif., and Sterling, Va.

"We are moving our new cloud capabilities into the old Savvis data centers," to link cloud services with existing colocation and hosting offers, he says. Hyperscale adds to CenturyLink Cloud's existing infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offer, and is designed for non-SQL technologies such as Couchbase, MongoDB, and others which don't use a relational database in a SQL server.

"No-SQL technologies use a distributed database without one controller node," Seroter explains. "Microsoft or Oracle apps, which are based on SQL servers, may not switch to this approach, but a lot of modern Web apps who have a distributed footprint and are built for cloud readiness are moving more toward these No-SQL databases, because they are more flexible can scale easier. This lets companies have all of their workloads in the same cloud, versus having to split it up to have the best of breed."

CenturyLink Cloud is also making a significant investment in its PaaS capabilities and is gearing up for more applications-as-a-service (AaaS) by looking to establish an ecosystem of potential apps partners.

"Today you are seeing PaaS and IaaS combining from the sense that providers are offering all of these capabilities as cloud services," Seroter says. "It's not a stand-alone app-centric cloud infrastructure, because that is not enough for running everything I need. And a straight-up infrastructure is too granular. I need something in between, and that is something we have a lot of investment in, already owning AppFog, and where we will continue to play, with either app-centric or infrastructure-centric services, depending on what you need."

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 10:12:57 PM
Re: 2014 could be a wildly competitive year for cloud
Dan, everyone is saying similar things - that enterprises are moving more things to the cloud but that different types of IT applications have different needs and that the cloud environment needs to be hybrid, combining public and private clouds, and different types of options.

I think the proof is going to be more in the execution - can they bring their sales folks along quickly enough, as this is a complex sale, and can they make the network connectivity be as on-demand as the compute and storage capabilities. None of that is easy. 
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 9:56:24 PM
Re: 2014 could be a wildly competitive year for cloud
It sounds like CentryLink has the right idea about what the role the cloud should play for big enterprise customers--or at least they are saying the right things. How does this compare to what some of the other big telcos are doing?
kq4ym
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kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 4:51:24 PM
Re: 2014 could be a wildly competitive year for cloud
I would think that CenturyLink might be getting a bit far afield from it's main business. Trying to compete in this very competitive arena might just be a loser for CenturyLink if they try to start too big and not meet their projections quickly and more experienced operations gooble them up.
Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 10:44:49 AM
2014 could be a wildly competitive year for cloud
The major cloud operators are gearing up big time to capture a cloud market that is finally taking off - will the telecom cloud guys be able to compete?
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