Computer Associates Buys iLumin

Computer Associates looks to boost its storage management strategy with the purchase of software vendor iLumin.

With the intent of rounding out its intelligent storage management strategy, CA (Computer Associates International Inc.) has acquired enterprise message management and archiving software vendor iLumin Software Services Inc. of Reston, Va.

Under the terms of the agreement, CA will control all of iLumins technology, including its Assentor product suite, focused around compliance, discovery, supervision, archiving and file systems management.

The main reason for the acquisition, said Anders Lofgren, senior vice president of BrightStor storage management and product marketing at CAs Islandia, NY, headquarters, is to be able to provide an end-to-end data management and protection solution.

"The iLumin technology allows us to do some things in terms of providing end-to-end email management and the possibility of integration in the future to integrate these technologies with backup, SRM (storage resource management) or other things," he said.

For the short term, the Assentor suite will remain intact, but Computer Associates development team will start integrating the products into its portfolio within the next few months.

Within about six months, CA plans to enhance the Assentor suite. Beyond that timeframe, CA will look into how the Assentor product suite might be further integrated into its product suite.

"Were committed to maintaining iLumins roadmap, and well be expanding and adding to it," Lofgren said.

The iLumin acquisition is another step toward Computer Associates long-term goal of simplifying the management and archiving of structured, unstructured and semi-structured data, Lofgren said.

"This is the next step toward providing that type of management capability," he said. "We want to bring a level of commonality to them while maintaining the application-specific functions.

"For example, having a common console and common data schema will greatly simplify the process of discovery, supervision and archiving."

CAs acquisition of iLumin makes it a more formidable opponent for many of its competitors, said Brian Babineau, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group of Milford, Mass.

"[Competitors] will have to realize that they will now be competing on depth of solution versus breadth of solution. CA has the breadth, and it can now go deep in certain areas—and e-mail is now one of them."

Although Computer Associates stands to gain both technologically and competitively from the acquisition, iLumin and its product suite also benefit, said Mike Gundling, senior vice president of product management at iLumin.

/zimages/4/28571.gifiLumin expands reach to file system management. Click here to read more.

"This gives us the resources we need to develop the product, accelerate it, and provide us with what we wouldnt otherwise have had—integration within a storage framework and integration with data protection products on the e-mail platforms, which is what our customers have been asking us for," he said.

CAs acquisition of iLumin is the second large acquisition in the enterprise message management market, following Veritas acquisition last year of e-mail archiving software vendor KVS (KVault Software Ltd.).

Both Veritas acquisition of KVS and CAs acquisition of iLumin are part of a larger trend in the enterprise message management market that may spur even more acquisitions, Babineau said.

"The focus has started to shift from e-mail retention to more information privacy and security, and that means there has to be a shift in focus and consolidation," he said.

Other vendors ripe for consolidation include Zantaz Inc., IntelliReach Corp., Orchestria Corp. and MessageGate Inc.—all companies that provide potentially valuable technology to larger technology vendors.

"They all have applicability to larger organizations like CA, and they can fill big product portfolio gaps [for vendors that] want to play in the data protection and information management markets," Babineau said.

"And these are all companies that can potentially add value immediately because they have good installed bases, smart employees and good technology as well as market drivers behind them."

Likely suitors for these companies include many large technology vendors that want to expand into areas poised for significant growth, such as enterprise message management, Babineau said—companies like IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Iron Mountain Inc.

"Right now the dogfight in the enterprise software world will be CA versus Symantec, but IBM, which currently has several partnerships, including one with Zantaz, now has to decide whether it wants to continue to partner or own the technology portfolio," he said.

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