CA to Fortify Unicenter with Concord Network Tools

Computer Associates officials say the next release of Unicenter, due in the fall, will include network management technology acquired in the $337 million buyout of Concord Communications.

Computer Associates is planning major network-management enhancements for its Unicenter product line with technology that it acquired with its buyout of Concord Communications, which closed Tuesday.

The products acquired in the buyout of Concord will be particularly important in extending the network-management capabilities of CA Unicenter systems management suite, officials at Computer Associates International Inc. said Tuesday.

Concord Communications Inc. is mainly known for its eHealth suite of network-performance monitoring availability and capacity reporting software. But key assets include network-availability and fault detection and management technology that Concord acquired in February through its acquisition of Aprisma Management Technologies Inc.

CA acquired Concord, based in Marlboro, Mass., for $337 million in cash based on a final price of $17 for each share of Concord common sock. Concord acquired Aprisma last February for $93 million in cash.

The Concord acquisition brings a set of technologies that had not been available in Unicenter, said Alan Nugent, senior vice president and general manager of CAs Unicenter business unit.

"This is a very significant acquisition in that we are filling some holes in the product platform," Nugent said. With Concords network-management products in the Unicenter product line, "we can approach new customers, but also do a better job for existing customers," he said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about Nugents hiring as head of CAs Unicenter business unit, which was part of a major management restructuring at the company.

In its current state, Unicenter is "very good on the systems management side and just good on the networks side," Nugent said. With the addition of Concord technology, "we become excellent across the board," he said.

The Concord acquisitions will allow CA to market Unicenter to communications, cable and Internet service provides in a way it never could before, Nugent said.

"While CA has already had a major presence in the enterprise side …, we never had an opportunity to approach the operational side" to the same degree, he said. "That is a whole new market opportunity for us."

CA is going to move quickly to integrate the network-management technologies from the Aprisma Spectrum product line into Unicenter Release 11, which is due to be delivered in the fall, Nugent said.

"By the time [Release 11] ships, we will be able to provide a set of Concord and Aprisma technology" in Unicenter, he said. The additions will make Unicenter "dramatically more comprehensive" in terms network performance monitoring and configuration, he said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifTo read the details about Computer Associates decision to reorganize into five businesses, click here.

CA is also in the process of giving Unicenter a more modular architecture to make it easier to integrate additional features and technologies, Nugent said.

"It was difficult the way the product was originally designed and built to keep adding new features—such as third-party products," he said.

Another major new feature that CA is building into Unicenter is what CA is calling a federated data model based on an MDB (management database) that will provide a general repository of all of the configuration information about all of the IT assets connected to the network.

MDB will contain information about "data structures and procedures that allow for the storage and retrieval of information about business assets and their relationship" to each other within the network, Nugent said.

With MDB in place, "the customer will only have to have a single repository for all of their enterprise business assets and human identity systems," he said.

For example, a company might be running an Oracle Financials application with the Oracle database. The MDB would keep track of all of the related IT assets that allow the company to run that application, which might include a Sun Solaris server that is also connected to an x86 Linux server or a cluster of servers. With MDB in place, "its really all about keeping all the assets and relationships all in one place," he said.

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John Pallatto

John Pallatto

John Pallatto has been editor in chief of QuinStreet Inc.'s since October 2012. He has more than 40 years of experience as a professional journalist working at a daily newspaper and...