CA Builds Up Cloud, Virtualization Management Offerings

At CA World 2010, CA Technologies unveils a host of new and improved products, as well as an expanded relationship with Cisco, to help businesses as they expand their use of virtualization technologies and make their way into the cloud.

CA Technologies is expanding its cloud computing and virtualization management capabilities through a host of new and enhanced products, as well as an expanded partnership with Cisco Systems.

At CA World 2010 in Las Vegas May 17, CA Technologies officials unveiled new and enhanced management software offerings that give IT administrators robust capabilities to manage both virtual infrastructure environments and internal compute clouds.

The moves come at a time when the dynamic in the data center is changing, with enterprises quickly moving to a more dynamic data center model, according to Tom Kendra, executive vice president for CA's Enterprise Products and Business line.

"We, as well as many others in this industry ... are seeing an extraordinary shift to leverage IT as a supply chain," Kendra said in an interview before the CA show began.

Enterprises are trying to more tightly link IT with business demands, a difficult task in the best to times, according to Chris O'Malley, executive vice president of CA's Cloud Products and Solutions Business line. It only got tougher when the worldwide recession hit.

"The combination of a worldwide recession, and a hyper-competitive global economy, shook up just about every company in every market," O'Malley said during his keynote speech May 17. "And, not by coincidence, our industry got serious about the cloud. ... The catalyst for cloud adoption in 2008 resulted from the fact that IT budgets were being intensely squeezed-while the need of the business for technology innovation continued to grow."

Virtualization and cloud computing hold promise, but there also are challenges, he said.

"The upside to this new cloud model is a fast time-to-value and a variable cost structure," O'Malley said. "The downside is a fragmented computing environment, where nobody knows what anyone else is doing with an increasing loss of control. The cloud also raises questions about who is responsible for traditional IT functions such as service-level management, and identity and access management."

That is where CA Technologies is coming in, according to Kendra. The company is building up its management capabilities as enterprises are demanding help, he said.

At the show, CA unveiled its Cloud-Connected Management Suite aimed at helping businesses better manage the supply chain that will grow with cloud computing.

The four products within the cloud leverage technologies CA has gained through acquisitions over the past year. For example, Cloud Insight improves a company's situational awareness and its ability to assess internal and external cloud services to determine which services are needed at that particular moment. CA is leveraging technologies gained through its acquisition of Oblicore in January, Kendra said.

From 3Tera comes Cloud Compose, which will help enterprises create compute clouds from commodity hardware, visually constructing and deploying composite services in the cloud, and manage those services in the cloud. Cloud Optimize, developed both internally and through CA's acquisition of some Cassatt assets, will enable customers to make the best use of internal and external clouds.

Cloud Orchestrate will provide workflow control and automation of changes.

The new products also will leverage CA's newly created Cloud Commons, an online community where customers can communicate, access research and best practices, and get more information.

On the virtualization side, CA is rolling out three new products and two enhanced offerings, designed to offer IT administrators robust virtualization management capabilities and enable them to integrate specialized management into hybrid physical and virtualized environments.

The three new products include Virtual Assurance, which offers improved uptime and performance in both virtual and private cloud environments. In addition, Virtual Automation automates virtual machine lifecycle management, touching on such areas as provisioning, provisioning support for Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and VPC (Virtual Private Cloud), integrated self-service with chargeback, and capacity and utilization tracking and reporting.

Virtual Configuration helps businesses maintain operational efficiency in virtual and private cloud environments.

CA also has enhanced Spectrum Automation Manager to include support for Cisco Systems' UCS (Unified Computing System) platform and integration with CA Access Control. In addition, the company improved Virtual Assurance for Infrastructure Managers to include support for large-scale virtual and physical performance management.