CenturyLink's Cloud Enlists Flash to Boost App Performance

By Pedro Hernandez

Add CenturyLink Technology Solutions to the list of companies that are turning to flash to help organizations deliver responsive cloud-based enterprise apps.

The Monroe, La.-based provider of telecommunications and IT services, today unveiled Hyperscale, flash-boosted server instances are available through the company's CenturyLink Cloud services portfolio. No longer do next-gen application developers have to incur high levels of degraded application performance, suggested Jared Wray, CenturyLink Cloud chief technology officer, in a statement.

"New applications are crucial to delivering a competitive advantage for enterprises, and Hyperscale is the ideal service for these workloads," asserted Wray. Among the other benefits for cloud developers are "self-service and lightning-fast performance for popular NoSQL platforms," he added.

Administrators get some perks, too. "IT can easily use our cloud management platform for governance and billing," said Wray.

Hyperscale on CenturyLink Cloud gets its grunt from flash storage, enabling the platform to plow through Big Data and cloud-native workloads. Hyperscale instances are completely backed by flash storage, enabling blistering performance on popular "web-scale" software foundations (Couchbase, MongoDB and NoSQL). The product is also being billed as a complementary offering to the company's Big Data Foundation Services suite.

Users can expect smooth, spritely performance from their cloud apps under Hyperscale, boasted CenturyLink. The company claims that it consistently delivers 15,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS), or more, under a variety of workloads.

CenturyLink is the latest company to explore the virtues -- and undoubtedly some of the challenges -- of flash in the cloud.

Amazon last month announced a flash-based tier of its cloud data warehousing offering, Redshift. And last year, CloudSigma and SolidFire partnered for an all-SSD public cloud storage product.

CenturyLink's foray into flash-enabled cloud computing comes just as the telecom provider plans for a major expansion.

The company also announced today that its public cloud services network -- including Hyperscale -- is growing from 9 to 13 during the first half of the year. In March, facilities in Santa Clara, Calif. and Sterling, Va. will go online. They will be followed by Paris and London in the second quarter.

CenturyLink may also soon delve into advanced hybrid cloud management, courtesy of Cisco InterCloud. CenturyLink Technology Solutions is among a handful of early adopters that will use Cisco's software to help customers move applications and data between public and private clouds while maintaining network and security policies.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on February 26, 2014