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Jared Wray, chief technology officer of cloud at CenturyLink, and founder of Tier 3 and Iron Foundry

Jared Wray, chief technology officer of cloud at CenturyLink, and founder of Tier 3 and Iron Foundry

CenturyLink announced the commercial availability of hyperscale high-performance server instances this week, the latest cloud service provider to move down the high performance compute route.

As the Tier 3 acquisition continues to bear fruit – its technology is increasingly found at the core of CenturyLink’s cloud platform, CenturyLink Technology Solutions chief technology officer and Tier 3 / Iron Foundry founder Jared Wray told Business Cloud News that the growth of highly distributed, developer-friendly high performance computing is the result of shifts in the enterprise IT landscape.

CenturyLink announced Wednesday that the company has switched on its high performance compute server instances in Europe and the US. The company said the new instances boast 100 per cent flash storage, very high-clocked CPUs, 40gb uplinks and a 10gb network, and that they are ideal for large number crunching tasks – big data.

“This is a product that evolved from our need,” Wray said. “Hyperscale is a new instance for us, where the minimum is 15,000 IOPS, but we’ve seen customers get up to 60,000 IOPS. There’s less server collision when it comes to the scheduler, too, which improves overall performance,” he said.

Wray, who has a strong developer focus – he founded Iron Foundry, a fairly successful Cloud Foundry-based PaaS, and Tier 3, an infrastructure as a service provider that boasted fairly advanced architecture and software IP – said that the enterprise application landscape looks very different to how it did four years ago.

He explained that the company is starting to see more widespread adoption of Hadoop and distributed compute and storage more broadly, which is leading to a shift in what cloud service providers need to offer customers.

“As the enterprise starts moving in to take on heavier workloads in the cloud, we’re going to see a big focus on IO and next-gen applications, especially for big data,” he said.

Big data isn’t just prompting more innovation in the code needed to support it. It’s influencing  CenturyLink’s datacenter strategy, as it looks to more modular designs to support delivering the next generation of applications to enterprises.

“Our strategy already includes a modular approach to the datacentre but we’re using some of the big vendors to make sure we are moving a more modular architecture so we can physically scale up more quickly.”

“We think there’s still a lot of work to be done, but we’ve recently begun talking much more about how we need to start contributing and joining into this open source hardware movement because it’s starting to be something palatable, and something that everyone can use – especially at our density level.”

The company also announced plans to expand from nine to 13 cloud datacentres globally in the first half of 2014.

“We’re going to have four plus nodes in the EU, which is something most providers don’t have. In the US of course there’s always expansion – six nodes in the US, and we’re looking to have a lot of nodes.”

CenturyLink has over fifty datacenters worldwide globally and five datacentres in the UK.

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