centurylink

Get Started with Bitnami Blueprints on CenturyLink Cloud

Introduction

CenturyLink Cloud is a high-performing, secure and reliable cloud solution designed for enterprise use. With CenturyLink Cloud’s public and private cloud infrastructure, enterprise users can run business websites and complex line-of-business applications securely and efficiently in the cloud.

The easiest way to get started with CenturyLink Cloud is with Bitnami. Bitnami provides pre-packaged application images for CenturyLink Cloud servers, so that you can launch a new server with your desired application and have it running in the cloud instantly. You can access and launch these images in two ways: through the free Bitnami Launchpad for CenturyLink Cloud, which gives you an intuitive Web-based dashboard to create and manage your CenturyLink Cloud servers, or with Bitnami Blueprints on the CenturyLink Control Portal.

In this tutorial, I’ll walk you, step by step, through the process of using the CenturyLink Control Portal to create and provision a new CenturyLink Cloud server.

TIP: To learn about launching servers with the Bitnami Launchpad for CenturyLink Cloud instead, refer to this tutorial.


NOTE: This guide assumes that you already have a CenturyLink Cloud account. For more information and to sign up, refer to the CenturyLink Cloud website.

Overview

If you’re interested in creating a personal or small business blog, chances are that you’re going to use WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms in the world, used on over 60 million websites (according to Wikipedia). And it is not hard to see why: WordPress is very easy to use, comes with thousands of extensions and themes, is completely free, and is open source.

In this tutorial, I’ll launch a cloud server with the Bitnami WordPress Stack, which gives you a pre-configured WordPress blog that you can start using right way. But WordPress is just an example: there are hundreds of other Bitnami applications to choose from, and they’re all equally easy to set up.

Here are the steps you’ll follow in this tutorial:

  • Use a Bitnami Blueprint to deploy WordPress on CenturyLink Cloud
  • Add a public IP address and configure the server firewall
  • Log in and start using WordPress

The next sections will walk you through these steps in detail.

At the end of this step, your WordPress blog will be running on a CenturyLink Cloud server.

To launch a new CenturyLink server with a Bitnami Blueprint, follow these steps:

  • Log in to the CenturyLink Control Portal.
  • Click the drop-down arrow in the top navigation bar to display the complete Dashboard menu.
  • Select the “Blueprints Library” menu item.

    Bitnami Blueprint usage

  • On the resulting page, use the “Author” filter to display only “Bitnami Blueprints”.

    Bitnami Blueprint usage

  • Find the WordPress Blueprint in the list and click to select it.

  • Review the server and blueprint details and click “deploy blueprint”.

    Bitnami Blueprint usage

At this point, you can customize the Bitnami Blueprint by configuring server and application settings. Follow the instructions below:

  • In the “Global Blueprint Values” section, configure the application by entering the details below:

    • The default application user name is user. Leave this as is, or change it to a different value in the “Login” field depending on your preferences.
    • Enter the corresponding application password and reconfirm it. You will need this user name and password to access the application later, so make a note of them.
    • Configure outgoing email settings by specifying the SMTP user name, password, host and port.
    • Enter your CenturyLink account password in the “Current Control User Password” field and reconfirm it.

    Bitnami Blueprint usage

  • In the “Build Server(s)” section, configure the server by entering the details below:

    • Enter a password for your server. This password will be used to access the server console over SSH, so make sure you keep a record of it.
    • Select the group your server will belong to.
    • Choose the current server name as the primary DNS.
    • Choose between a “standard” or “hyperscale” server based on your needs:
    • Select between “standard” or “premium” support.
    • Review the auto-generated server name and change it if needed.

    Bitnami Blueprint usage

  • Once the server and application are configured, click the “next step 2” button. You will be presented with a summary of your configuration.

    Bitnami Blueprint usage

  • Review it and hit the “deploy blueprint” button. This will add your Blueprint to the queue.

You’ll now be presented with a status page which shows you the current status of your Blueprint. Once the Blueprint is deployed, you will receive an email notification, and you will also see the newly-launched Blueprint in the list of servers for your selected region and group.

Bitnami Blueprint usage

Step 2: Add a public IP address and configure the server firewall

At the end of this step, your WordPress blog will be configured for public access.

Depending on the Blueprint you selected, the server may automatically be configured with a public IP address and important firewall rules. You can check this by visiting the server detail page in the CenturyLink Control Portal. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Enter the name of your server in the search box at the top of the page, or select the server from the region and group list.
  • On the server detail page, look for the public IP address. If available, click it.

    Server configuration

  • Verify that the Web server ports (80 or 8080 and 443) are open.

    Server configuration

If a public IP address has been assigned and the necessary server ports are open, skip to the end of this section and verify that you can access your WordPress blog. However, in case the Blueprint you selected did not automatically perform these tasks, you must manually add a public IP address to the server and open the Web server ports, as follows:

  • On the server detail page, click the “add public ip” button.

    CenturyLink public IP address addition

  • Open the HTTP and HTTPS ports (80 or 8080 and 443). If you plan to log in and use the server console, you should also open the SSH port (22).

  • Click the “add public ip address” button. This will add your request to the queue.

    CenturyLink public IP address addition

You’ll now be redirected to a status page which shows you the current status of your request. Once the IP address is added, you will be able to see details of the new public IP address in the server detail page, as shown below.

CenturyLink public IP address addition

At this point, you should be able to browse to the cloud server, by entering the cloud server IP address directly into your browser’s address bar. You should now see a welcome screen, as shown below.

Bitnami Blueprint usage

Click the “Access WordPress” link and you should see the front page of your blog with a sample post, as below:

Bitnami Blueprint usage

You’re almost done but, before you can log in to WordPress, you need the administrator credentials. These are the credentials you entered when deploying the blueprint, in the “Login” and “Password” fields.

WordPress credentials

Step 3: Log in and start using WordPress

At the end of this step, you will have logged in to WordPress and created a new blog post.

To log in to the WordPress dashboard, follow these steps:

  • Browse to the WordPress dashboard, usually at the URL http://SERVER-IP/wordpress/wp-admin.

  • Log in with the administrator credentials from the previous step.

    WordPress credentials

You should now arrive at the WordPress dashboard, which allows you to manage posts, pages and comments; customize your blog with themes and plugins; import and export content; manage navigation menus; add or delete new user accounts; and much more.

WordPress credentials

You can now add a new post using the following steps:

  • Select the “Posts -> Add New” menu option to create a new post.

    Add new WordPress post

  • Enter a title and content for the post. You can use the formatting tools at the top of the content area to format your post and add hyperlinks or images.

  • Optionally, choose the format and category for your post.

  • Publish it immediately using the “Publish” button.

    Add new WordPress post

And now, when you visit your blog’s front page, you should see your new post.

WordPress post publishing

Congratulations! You now have a working, fully-functional WordPress blog in the cloud.

You can keep your WordPress installation up-to-date with the WordPress automatic update feature. To access this:

  • Log in to WordPress using the administrator account.
  • Select the “Dashboard -> Updates” menu item.

    WordPress update

  • Review the resulting page to see if WordPress needs an update. If an update is available, you can install it by clicking the “Update Now” button. You can also re-install WordPress if needed with the “Re-install Now” button.

    WordPress update

To learn more about the topics discussed in this tutorial, use the links below: