CA continues cloud computing buying spree

CA Inc. announced today that it plans to acquire for an undisclosed sum a 3Tera, a move that industry watchers say will equip the management software maker with tools to offer customers a smoother transition to private and public cloud computing.

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The third in a string of acquisitions CA says target its cloud computing plans, 3Tera would provide CA with its AppLogic suite, which helps customer encapsulate applications into containers suited for private and public cloud environments, says Jay Fry, vice president of business unit strategy for CA. CA acquired Cassatt last summer and Oblicore earlier this year, and the company cited cloud ambitions at the time of those separate deals.

"The most interesting thing about 3Tera is their ability to give both service providers and enterprises a way to take existing applications and bring them to private and public cloud environments via an elegant interface. The process used to be done very manually, but AppLogic automates it and smooths that transition," Fry explains.

CA executives expect the acquisition to close within "a few weeks, with no particular date set."

Industry watchers say the acquisition will benefit CA. For example, it isn't directly about IT management software – yet. 3Tera will help CA get into cloud enablement, opening the door for new cloud and management customers in the enterprise. 3Tera has 20 or so service provider clients.

3Tera's AppLogic will become a platform for CA to sell management tools, not only to service providers but also to their customers," says James Staten, principal analyst at Forrester Research. "CA will start to sell this technology to enterprises that will be ready to convert internal virtual infrastructure into cloud environments, and then following a big degree of integration with CA's existing products, CA will be ready to provide management technology for the cloud, against emerging competitors such as VMware."

There are some questions around 3Teral, however, including the company's limited virtualization platform support and 3Tera's size.

"There are challenges – 3Tera is very small, this market is just emerging and 3Tera only works with Xen today, which is fine for the service provider market, but the enterprise market mostly uses VMware," says Donna Scott, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

Vince Re, senior vice president and chief architect at CA, says the company is aware of the virtual infrastructure support limitations and intends to move quickly to add VMware as well as Microsoft's Hyper-V to its list of supported platforms.

"One of the first things we will do is expand [support] to include VMware," Re says.

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Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

This story, "CA continues cloud computing buying spree" was originally published by Network World.

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