A New Platform for Hybrid IT: Platform CenturyLink

IT people are doers, they make things happen. It’s just in their nature. So, when thought leaders talk about dramatic changes in technology affecting business and new digital business models, most IT people are already thinking, “What should we do about that?” They are ready for the business advantage that comes from a simpler, faster IT consumption process – one that also gives lines of businesses what they need at the speed they need it.

At CenturyLink, we are also doers. We are doing something tangible to support customers in the Gigabit economy. We are helping IT professionals bring about the digital transformation that everyone is talking about. We’re building a new platform for hybrid IT, a single point of control for virtually all IT assets and functions – a platform that enables IT managers to be agile. It’s called Platform CenturyLink.

Platform CenturyLink will make it possible to bring up environments and provide capabilities to end users, or to meet their needs very quickly, in different ways around different applications required by the business. Our goal with Platform CenturyLink is to place everything we offer to enterprise IT in a single management interface. The Platform will give IT efficient control over the network, public cloud assets, private cloud environments, legacy infrastructure, and applications a single UI to order network services and spin up machines automatically – basically do all sorts of tasks that used to require help tickets, phone calls and manual processes.

The insight that led to Platform CenturyLink was a realization that Hybrid IT is a promising reality, not a burden. Yes, you are going to be running everything you’ve got and adding cloud capabilities to the mix. While there is a lot of cloud migration going on, the truth is that most serious businesses are going to be continuing with all sorts of legacy systems for the foreseeable future. There is an opportunity to make it all work well together. We want to make it efficient to deal with this challenge. For this reason, Platform CenturyLink will combine network, cloud, hosting, and Colocation management into a highly scalable, API-driven toolset. It enables agility by unifying of all of our infrastructure, software, and network assets.

Looking at the Platform’s architecture from the data center, you start with a hybrid cloud infrastructure. Our goal is to enable you to create the right environment for a particular application. We’ll do this with an application marketplace that includes both business software applications as well as network function virtualization applications. What’s unique is our vision for near instant ability to instantiate isolated or public cloud or deploy a full range of solutions like managed Hadoop, Spark, SAP, Cloud Foundry or Docker.

The Platform will encompass our vision for a Software-Defined Network (SDN) controller through RESTful APIs to our network capability. In terms of the control of the network, we use traditional next generation standards like NetConf and OpenFlow, but we also have made a big investment in systems capabilities to interface with legacy network elements and their underlying element management system. And of course, our MPLS network will be the foundation gateway to business agility, connecting with a broad ecosystem of external services and all of our platform services.

With Platform CenturyLink we’re creating an environment where it’s easy for our customers to quickly take advantage of the latest technology to accelerate their businesses and outdistance their competition. A single, automated point of control makes for agile, efficient IT management. We’re putting it all together for you. With Platform CenturyLink, it is time to rethink CenturyLink.

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