In the culmination of a two-and-a-half-year development effort, CA on Monday will launch its new CA Asset Management suite, which exploits the companys common services platform and Management Database to improve control and accountability of IT assets.
The suite, part of the continuing Unicenter R11 product rollout, delivers the highest level of integration yet across CAs asset discovery, inventory, software license management, vendor and contract management offerings as well as the financial management of IT resources, according to Allan Andersen, director of product management in CAs Business Service Optimization unit in Islandia, N.Y.
By leveraging the common MDB and a new reconciliation engine that rationalizes discovered and owned asset data, the new suite is designed to create a “single source of truth” about all IT assets, Andersen said.
“Whats unique about this is that weve aligned the assets between the various solutions and the software by linking together the way we discover software and how youre entitled to the software and how its licensed,” he said.
In the suites discovery function, all applications and their individual components are discovered. Different versions and deliveries of the software, such as an enterprise versus a standard edition of a program, are linked with how the software is licensed.
“We manage the ownership aspects—knowing terms and conditions and how much you paid for the assets, and then we link that with what we discover. We also detect differences between installed [licensed] software and software thats a trial version. So that trial version doesnt go into the license count,” Andersen said.
The asset data is also available to other IT management areas, such as the service desk, to help streamline IT operations management.
“Using information from the asset management data collected, you can see whether the difference in the number of help desk calls you get from accounting is because theyre behind a release in operating system software,” said industry analyst Rich Ptak, principal at Ptak, Noel & Associates in Amherst, N.H.
To help ensure software license compliance, CA also created a software signature database that can recognize thousands of versions of software. The database is kept up to date by a global research team. CA Asset Management correlates all discovered software instances with their licenses to simplify license management.
Other enhancements in the suite, made up of Unicenter Asset Intelligence, Unicenter Asset Management (with discovery and inventory) and Unicenter Asset Portfolio Management, include the ability to manage telecom assets and a new Web-based Common Asset Viewer that allows help desk analysts or asset managers to get more information without having to go into the product.
In the Asset Intelligence component, CA added the ability to give business managers insight into the assets they have personally and into the assets that people in their organization have.
The new version also includes a continuous discovery capability that can discover when new assets enter the corporate network, interrogate the assets and put their details into the MDB. Once there, it can notify specific IT personnel such as security and provide discrepancy reporting.
The new release is available now.