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CA Acquires Cassatt in Cloud Computing Push

Cassatt, a provider of data center automation solutions for virtual environments, has found a home at CA (NYSE: CA).

The company had some financial difficulties, but Jay Fry, Cassatt vice president of marketing, blogged today that CA has acquired Cassatt's "technology assets, patents, and a very significant chunk of the employees."

Cassatt's CEO, Bill Coleman, is well known as the co-founder of BEA, but has sounded gloomy about the prospects of small companies in the current economy. He predicted that large companies would grow stronger and small companies would fail.

Today, Cassatt becomes part of a large company.

For Cassatt, the benefit is that it gets to focus on its core strength, Don Ferguson, CA's chief architect, told InternetNews.com. "It is hard for a company like Cassatt, which has a huge number of things to monitor and control in the data center. It's hard to replicate [CA's] infrastructure for monitoring and controls. The effort to do so diverted development resources from their core value."

Cassatt has a unique value for enterprise data centers, according to Ferguson. "They have a control system that continuously optimizes, based on what it monitors," he said.

"In cloud computing, the concept is that if you have large numbers of applications using the same cloud infrastructure, you get more efficient because when one set of applications is not experiencing performance stress, but others are, you can move servers from one resource pool to the other," said Ferguson.

He added that this system is far more efficient than the traditional data center, in which everything is over-provisioned for the worst-case scenario.

In large data centers, efficiencies are clearly possible. "Most data centers are delivering hundreds of applications," he said. "Some are internal-facing and some are external-facing and some don't run all the time. If you have intelligent controls, you can constantly optimize the allocation of physical resources."

Ferguson added that today's acquisition fits into CA's lean IT pitch to customers. The pitch is in tune with analyst forecasts of this year's enterprise IT market. Analysts expect IT managers to need to prove an ROI for every purchase, and CA, with the "lean IT" tag line, is focusing on those technologies that fit the bill.