CA Buys 3Tera, Builds on Its Cloud Capabilities

CA is continuing its aggressive push into cloud computing with the acquisition of 3Tera, whose AppLogic product makes it easier for businesses to configure and deploy applications and virtual servers in a cloud environment. The acquisition follows up on previous purchases of such companies as Oblicore, NetQoS and Cassatt.

CA is continuing to build up its cloud computing capabilities with the Feb. 24 acquisition of 3Tera.

CA officials are looking to roll 3Tera's capabilities of building and deploying cloud services in with offerings already in CA's portfolio-including Spectrum Automation Manager and Service Assurance-and technologies gained in the acquisitions of Cassatt and NetQoS in 2009 and Oblicore in January.

CA officials said the deal should close within the next couple of weeks, and they expect to quickly start integrating 3Tera into the fold after that.

"Certainly by the time we walk into CA World in May, we should have a very complete [cloud computing] strategy," Vince Re, senior vice president of CA's Cloud Products and Solutions Business Line, said in an interview.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

CA is looking to draw on 3Tera's AppLogic technology to help customers more easily, efficiently and wisely make the move to cloud computing, whether it means hosting applications in-house or with a public cloud offering such as those of, Google or Microsoft.

AppLogic also helps businesses decide which applications are best suited for cloud computing environments, Re said.

The move is a smart one for CA, according to Forrester Research analysts James Staten and Glenn O'Donnell. Not only does it expand the company's cloud computing capabilities, but it also moves it beyond its traditional boundaries, particularly if you add in the service provider clients that 3Tera brings with it, the analysts said in a blog post Feb. 24.

"This also takes CA beyond just a management software company and potentially beyond even just a software company," Staten and O'Donnell wrote. "The service provider partners form a channel, one that positions CA as not just a software vendor, but also now a provider of cloud services itself. Its software portfolio becomes firmly rounded for hybrid cloud enablement, but this fundamental shift is a major event in the evolution of CA and its rebirth from the ashes of the dreaded old Computer Associates."

Re said 3Tera adds a critical aspect to the company's cloud computing story. Through its own asset management products, CA can help customers determine what they have today and what they will need in the future. With Oblicore and other CA technologies, the company also can help businesses assess alternatives before making a decision.

With 3Tera and CA's own SAAS (software as a service) offerings, the vendor now can do a better job of enabling customers to act on those decisions, Re said.

A key is that AppLogic gives customers a single place to configure and deploy their applications and virtual server fabrics, he said. Using an intuitive GUI, businesses can easily pick and choose from a catalog of preconfigured virtual server and software components to design and deploy composite applications as a single entity in the cloud.

It's a process that with other vendor products usually can take days or weeks, but can be done with AppLogic in a matter of minutes, Re said.

Another key, according to Forrester's Staten and O'Donnell, is that unlike the cloud offerings from, Rackspace and others, 3Tera's AppLogic has workload management built in, "letting you package multiple VMs [virtual machines] into a single service and deploy it as one logical entity and manage it as such."

3Tera customers also will see their virtualization capabilities expand. CA officials said CA will extend support of 3Tera beyond the Xen platform it currently runs on to include VMware's ESX technology and Microsoft's Hyper-V.

CA is rapidly becoming a larger player in the cloud, Staten and O'Donnell said.

"If anyone doubted [CA's] intention [is] to get into the cloud computing market, you can't get away with that skepticism anymore," they said. "This company is serious."