CA Automation Suite Aimed at SMB Cloud Users

The integrated solution includes Process Automation, Server Automation, Virtual Automation and Service Catalog and Accounting.

IT management software and solutions specialist CA Technologies announced the general availability of three products in the CA Automation Suite, launched in October. CA Configuration Automation r12, CA Process Automation r3, and CA Server Automation r12 are designed to help SMBs (small and medium-size businesses) expedite their passage to a virtualized, cloud computing infrastructure.

The company's Configuration Automation r12 is a business service automation product designed to enable greater standardization of IT services, reduced downtime and increased compliance with regulatory and IT security policies. Configuration Automation provides application and system discovery and dependency mapping, as well as configuration monitoring and remediation, across a range of applications and distributed physical and virtual servers. Features include granular configuration tracking and auditing, more than 1,000 out-of-the-box application, service, compliance and system templates and policies and the ability to use either agent or agent-less approaches.

Process Automation r3 is also a business service automation product designed to help reduce operational expenses, increase staff productivity and increase speed in delivering IT services by documenting, automating and orchestrating a range of processes across platforms, applications and IT groups. Features include a graphical designer interface, visual exception handling, and more than 50 CA Technologies and third-party prebuilt data connectors and Quickstarts, including ones for Amazon Web Services, and VMware vSphere. These features provide a context of the tasks being automated to architects.

Server Automation r12 is an infrastructure automation product that provisions, patches and deploys applications and services across physical and virtual systems based on standard templates and performance metrics. New capabilities include support for new hypervisors, including Microsoft Hyper-V and support for Cisco UCS. Client Automation r12.5 and CA Virtual Automation r3 were made generally available in May 2010 and July 2010, respectively. CA Workload Automation r11.3 is planned to be generally available by spring 2011, according to a company release.

"The CA Automation Suite is arguably the single most cohesive package of automation offerings on the market today," said Dennis Drogseth, vice president of research for Enterprise Management Associates. "CA Technologies has shown extraordinary vision in creating a unique portfolio that should effectively address the requirements of both its more progressive customers, as well as customers seeking a more intelligible approach to getting started with automation."

Automation Suite for Hybrid Clouds is designed for enterprises interested in building an internal private cloud, or planning to leverage a public cloud as a part of their data center strategy. Automation Suite for Hybrid Clouds helps standardize IT service delivery to business customers through a unified, self-service reservation system and seamless administration. The integrated solution includes CA Process Automation, CA Server Automation, CA Virtual Automation, and CA Service Catalog and Accounting.

"Automation, orchestration and virtualization management are top priorities for enterprise and larger mid-market customers," states Mary Johnston Turner, IDC research director for enterprise system management software. "These technologies are critical enablers of private cloud environments. According to a recent IDC survey of large North American companies, those that are committed to deploying a private cloud environment are almost three times as likely to be planning for widespread production use of automation, orchestration and virtualization management tools when compared to organizations that have not yet defined a private cloud strategy. These companies expect use of these tools to significantly improve IT staff productivity and increase utilization of in-house system resources."