CA Technologies Unveils New DevOps, SaaS, Mainframe Tools

Refreshed releases of CA's core app and infrastructure monitoring products are designed to speed up software release velocity.

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CA Technologies, a seasoned IT products and services provider that has completed a major modernization transformation in only the last few years, made several announcements Nov. 16 at its CA World conference in Las Vegas.

Announcement No. 1 is the release of CA Agile Central, a new software-as-a-service platform that the company calls the only one "purpose-built to scale agile practices." New features added to the solution enable teams to execute on strategy faster, accelerating application agility across the enterprise to lessen the time to customer value, the company said.

No. 2 involves additions to the company's DevOps tools portfolio that range from development to production, including all supporting technologies--from clouds to devices, and everything in between--to improve the user experience across changing applications, infrastructure and networks.

As eWEEK reported Nov. 14, the optimization of the "customer experience" is one of the most important trends in the IT world, whether on the consumer side or the enterprise side.

Refreshed, Updated Versions of Several Products

Refreshed releases of CA's core app and infrastructure monitoring products are designed to speed up software release velocity and improve customer experiences. CA Application Performance Management (CA APM), CA Performance Management and CA Virtual Network Assurance enhancements and new integrations aim to drive better collaboration among DevOps teams to increase software release velocity, the company said.

Agile development is all about getting software updates, security patches and additional features out in the world faster, rather than more deliberately, and then making fixes and eliminating bugs on the fly as needed. This is what developers want, thus the rise of the DevOps metholodogy.

Announcement No. 3 harkens back to CA's early days: mainframes. The New York-based company announced new solutions for mainframes that use advanced analytics, increased automation, DevOps for mainframe, and security for mission essential data.

The expanded mainframe portfolio includes predictive analytics capabilities. CA Mainframe Operations Intelligence is a new algorithms-based solution suite that identifies and predicts system issues before they impact performance. Machine learning is applied to make sure there is no downtime and provides the intelligence that reduces the effort and skill to run data centers.

CA Agile Central

This provides a hub for teams to collaboratively plan, prioritize and track work in a synchronized cadence. Personal Navigation shortens the path between the user and work to be completed by making the most frequently accessed pages easy to find and use-moving rarely used pages to the background. The new Quick Detail feature lets users update all relevant details of work items in context without leaving the page they are working on. They can customize which fields matter most to them and their team for easier access, the company said.

Additional new features in CA Agile Central include:

--Advanced Filtering and Saved Views: Easily find exactly what's needed with quick filters and powerful advanced filters. Users can also save and share filters for easy access later.

--Webhooks: Build lightweight integrations to be triggered when data changes in CA Agile Central. Users get data in real time as it changes, like an automated instant update, to keep projects across teams on track.

--Subscription App Catalog: Redefining customization in CA Agile Central, users can add custom apps to gain business insight reporting and workflow automation.

New DevOps Tools

CA is including such features as real-time insights, automated workflows and cloud connectors for modern application management, the company said.

New and enhanced analytics in CA APM, alongside a redesigned interface, offer improved monitoring of user experiences across cloud, mobile and on-premises applications. CA APM learns and adapts to predictively guide novice users to a suggested diagnosis of application issues-slashing the time and expertise needed, CA said.

Additionally, for organizations looking to deliver a reliable customer experience across multiple digital channels, CA APM integration with recently-launched CA App Experience Analytics offers insight into user experience, app performance details and the overall health of web, mobile and wearable applications. As a result, any potential performance issue is automatically remedied.

CA APM cloud connectors include extensions for Docker, Nginx and RabbitMQ, which are downloadable from the CA APM Marketplace. CA APM is also available in the AWS Marketplace for application performance monitoring needing to elastically scale up or down based on demand and short-duration projects.

Finally, CA also announced that CA BlazeMeter, an open source-based continuous application performance testing solution, has added integration with CA APM. CA BlazeMeter lets developers simulate user experiences with application performance details from CA APM allowing DevOps teams to address potential performance issues much earlier in the software development lifecycle.

CA's New Mainframe Tools

The release of CA Workload Automation for mainframes makes it easier to run emerging workloads such as big data, cloud and mobile applications. It securely schedules, manages and monitors cross-enterprise workloads through a web interface for ease of access and increased visibility. Tests for the new release have reported up to 50 percent reduction in the time it takes to manage workloads and up to 35 percent improvements in core IT staff productivity, CA said.

New automation capabilities help customers manage the entire project lifecycle of their mainframe software migration efforts. CA Conversion Service is an industry-first, cloud-based service to manage conversion efforts from data preparation to design and rollout, reducing the need for expensive professional services or staff disruptions.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...