RealTime IT News

Computer Associates Kicks Off CA World

Computer Associates (CA) Monday announced the latest piece of its nascent on-demand computing strategy, a technology its calling Sonar that can detect and map IT assets across an enterprise and map them to business processes.

The Islandia, N.Y. company, who like rivals Veritas , IBM and HP , is focusing on a type of computing that allows IT managers to draw upon and reroute computing resources to keep the servers from sitting idle, unveiled Sonar at its CA World conference in Las Vegas.

The management software vendor said Sonar allows solution providers to offer customers the ability to identify assets that are not being used with regularity and reallocate them based on the data Sonar captures.

Monitoring traffic on the network, Sonar understands more than 1,700 protocols and information sources. It then builds accurate maps and keeps those maps updated as resource allocations change, and automatically detects wrong network traffic and usage.

Sonar was part of a mass Web services announcement, in which CA unveiled four new management tools. These include: BrightStor Process Automation Manager to allocate and provision storage resources across multiple platforms, and eTrust Vulnerability Manager, an appliance that provides monitoring capabilities and security intelligence to pinpoint flaws.

Also among these are Unicenter NSM Option for VMware Software, which monitors virtual machine environments on Intel-based Linux and Windows platforms to gauge when additional resources are needed to fulfill service level requirements, and Unicenter NSM Dynamic Reconfiguration Option for managing and dynamically provisioning VMware virtual machines as needed.

CA also unveiled Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM), a product for monitoring Web services across the enterprise. Unicenter WSDM automatically discovers and monitors Web services to help businesses track performance indicators and respond to service interruptions.

WSDM and other CA Web services products manage and secure Web services at both the Web services overlay network layer and the application server platform layer.

The company revealed new Unicenter software support for Microsoft's .NET Frame work and the two major application servers. The Unicenter product for .NET, Management for .NET Framework version 3.0 provides discovery of Web services, business relevant service level reporting, health and performance reporting, capacity utilization, and the alerting capabilities for Web services and related applications.

Also unveiled were Unicenter Management for WebSphere release 3.5 and Unicenter Management for WebLogic release 3.5. Both monitor Web services deployed within the J2EE application server, and facilitate the automatic discovery of both deployed Web services and their interfaces.

The company also trotted out eTrust Directory release 4.1, a UDDI implementation for large-scale deployment and Web services. eTrust Directory 4.1 can store, replicate and distribute more than 100 million individual entries of Web services data.

One analyst approved of CA's plays Monday.

"By continuing to expand its product line to support Web services, CA is focusing on providing secure management technology as organizations seek to adopt more services and services-oriented architectures," said Sandra Rogers, Director of Web Services Software at IDC.

However, another analyst was not won over by CA's revelations. ZapThink Senior Analyst Jason Bloomberg said it's not clear from the announcements how CA's Web Services management efforts relate to their Adaptive Management initiative.

"Adaptive Management is all about helping companies to be On Demand businesses, and Service-Oriented Architectures built upon Web Services open standards should be the core architectural approach to enabling On Demand," Bloomberg explained. "IBM understands this connection, but apparently, CA does not -- their Web Services announcements imply that Web Services are solely for standards-based integration. Using Web Services for integration is an important first step, but CA must connect Web Services to Adaptive Management to have a coherent product offering."

A leader speaks

Amidst the product announcements, CA Chairman and CEO Sanjay Kumar made a keynote speech at the annual company event that shed insight on why CA has been concentrating so much on flexible computing strategies in recent months.

The CA skipper said customers are demanding more from technology vendors than ever before. Therefore, he said, computing companies that wish to remain competitive must offer flexible models that provide customers with the freedom to choose licensing terms that fit their needs, and payment metrics that reflect the value that technology has created for their businesses.

This is why, Kumar said, CA overhauled its business model more than two years ago to provide customers with increased flexibility.

Kumar also predicted that the current wave of consolidation in the technology industry will continue as customers move to working with fewer vendors in a more strategic way.

"There are too many players," he said. "Large companies will survive, small companies will continue to pop up and a few will innovate their way to success. But, companies without sufficient scale will be most vulnerable.

Kumar claimed this good news for customers.

"Our industry needs to respond with unprecedented flexibility. We need to be flexible about platforms, about applications, about licensing and about overall computing needs. In fact, flexibility will become the key differentiator because there is no way we can predict what the future will be."

The CEO also vowed that CA will remain committed to what it does best -- infrastructure management, information management and knowledge management software -- and promised his company will continue to push the envelope for managing on-demand computing.