CA Adds to Cloud Business with Nimsoft Buy

CA is continuing its aggressive push to build up its cloud computing capabilities through acquisitions with the announcement that it plans to buy Nimsoft for $350 million. Nimsoft joins Cassatt, NetQoS, Oblicore and 3Tera in CA's series of cloud-related acquisitions.

CA is continuing to buy companies to build up its cloud computing capabilities, the latest acquisition being Nimsoft.

CA officials announced the $350 million, all-cash acquisition of Nimsoft March 10, and said the deal is expected to close by the end of March. Nimsoft is the fifth cloud-centric company CA has purchased in the past year.

With Nimsoft, CA gets IT performance and availability monitoring solutions for highly virtualized data centers and cloud computing environments. It also gets greater traction in a number of key areas, including midmarket companies, what CA calls emerging enterprises-companies with revenues between $300 million and $2 billion-MSPs (managed service providers) and emerging global markets, according to CA CEO Bill McCracken.

During a conference with journalists and analysts, McCracken said the deal is about both Nimsoft's technology and its customers. Nimsoft has about 800 customers in more than 30 countries.

"We want to reach new customers, and we want to reach them in a way we haven't been able to do here at CA, even after a couple of tries," McCracken said.

The emerging enterprise space will account for about a quarter of the software spending in CA's market by 2013, McCracken said. The MSPs are key providers of cloud computing for businesses, and the cloud will play a significant role in emerging economies, he said.

"We are looking to build up that off-shore revenue," Chris O'Malley, executive vice president for CA's Cloud Products and Solutions Business Line, said during the conference call.

Nimsoft's monitoring and reporting products are used in a variety of public cloud computing environments, as well as with on-demand offerings, including Google Apps for Business, the Rackspace Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), and, according to CA. It's also used by customers for internal applications, databases, and physical and virtual data centers.

Nimsoft's Unified Monitoring Solution gives MSPs high visibility into customers' business applications in both internal and external infrastructures. McCracken and Gary Read, Nimsoft president and CEO, said Nimsoft's technology is designed with a high level of automation to make it easy for MSPs to use it.

Read, who will become senior vice president and general manager of CA's Nimsoft business unit once the deal is complete, said for his 12-year-old company, combining with CA makes sense.

Nimsoft had done well, but he worried that it would be unable to keep up with the rapid changes in the market. As part of CA, he said, Nimsoft will be able to continue to innovate, and also will be able to more easily scale its products.

McCracken said he expects that most Nimsoft employees will remain with the company once the deal is complete.

In less than a year, CA has bought Cassatt, NetQoS and Oblicore, and is in the processing of buying 3Tera, each of which brings cloud computing technology that dovetails with products in CA's portfolio. Nimsoft will enable CA to further add to those capabilities.

McCracken said such acquisitions are a way to "accelerate CA's market leadership."