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CA, Sony to Fuse Storage Lines

Computer Associates International and Sony have agreed to bundle their complementary storage products in order to attack mid-range and enterprise storage markets where IBM, Veritas and many others compete.

Islandia, N.Y.'s CA said it would bundle its BrightStor storage management line with Sony's PetaSite and StorStation storage systems for the North American, European, Japanese and Asian markets. The companies plan to pay special attention to vertical markets, such as healthcare and finance, where regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) in the healthcare industry and the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in the financial world require companies to retain records for specific periods of time.

The global alliance, financial terms of which were not made public, was announced at CA World in Las Vegas, where the titular firm has spent the last two days unveiling scads of new products to beef up its management software regimen.

With the Sony partnership, CA would seem to be better positioned to take on other, larger storage systems vendors such as EMC , IBM, and HP in terms of offering complete data backup solutions for enterprise customers. Though they may not have the longstanding brand recognition as a true systems provider, CA is emphasizing security as a selling point.

"Customers continue to seek storage solutions to safeguard their valuable data without excessive cost or excessive administration," said Frank Yang, CA senior vice president of BrightStor Solutions. "Together, CA and Sony will provide products that fulfill these ongoing market requirements."

As part of the first fruits of the CA/Sony relationship, CA will soon ship its BrightStor ARCserve Backup technology with Sony's StorStation Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) WORM technology to provide customers in healthcare, surveillance and financial industries, with secure data management products.

With these, customers can establish long-term protection for their backups and archives, while also satisfying government regulations for electronic record keeping and data retention. The Sony and CA combined WORM solutions are expected to become available in August with prices starting at about $4,500.

Sony plans to merge its PetaSite storage systems with CA's BrightStor Enterprise Backup in order to provide backup consolidation solutions for data centers and enterprise storage environments. The companies also said the combination of Sony's file servers and tape libraries with CA's BrightStor Mobile Backup storage management software will provide backup and archival appliances for residing on laptops and desktops within the workplace.

CA and Sony, also plan to form a sales team to address their combined distribution channels, and establish technology validation centers in North America, Europe, and Japan.

The venture is the latest big piece of news from CA, which this week unfurled a number of management products concerning Web services and security.

Tuesday CA also unveiled a security management appliance, called eTrust Vulnerability Manager, which pinpoints vulnerabilities in IT environments on the fly. It does so by taking real-time inventories of business assets and correlates them with vulnerabilities. eTrust Vulnerability Manager is tightly integrated with eTrust Security Command Center, which was also unveiled in Las Vegas Tuesday.

eTrust Security Command Center is the company's new flagship security management product. It aggregates, correlates and prioritizes disparate security data generated across an enterprise.