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CA takes next step with on-demand

It will debut Sonar tools at CA World this week

May 24, 2004 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - At its annual user conference this week, Computer Associates International Inc. will announce an initial set of four management software modules that use the Sonar on-demand computing technology detailed by the company last July.
One of the Sonar-based products, a tool called eTrust Network Forensics that can identify links between IT infrastructure devices from a security perspective, was quietly shipped last December but has yet to be formally announced. The other modules are due to become available this summer or in the fall.
Sonar was designed to add increased automation capabilities to CA's security, storage, network and application performance management product lines and to help integrate functions within each of the four offerings.
In an interview last week, Yogesh Gupta, CA's chief technology officer, focused mainly on one of the new tools -- an add-on to CA's Unicenter NSM product that's called SmartBPV, shorthand for Smart Business Process Views.
SmartBPV, which is in limited beta testing, is designed to automatically create and update graphical views of the servers, routers and other devices on corporate networks and show IT managers which business processes they support, Gupta said. For example, it could identify all the Microsoft Exchange servers on a network, as well as connected networking devices, he said.
"Once this SmartBPV is matured, it will be a big, big deal," said Chris Poole, a senior analyst at Convergys Corp. in Jacksonville, Fla., and president of the Florida CA Users Group. Poole said he wants systems management tools that can detect packets being sent across networks from specific applications or databases to help him quickly spot and locate problems when they arise.
Poole, who plans to attend this week's CA World conference in Las Vegas, said he envisions using SmartBPV to pinpoint a specific instance of an Oracle or SAP application that's encountering problems on a server that's running 10 different installations of the same application, for example. He said he is currently able to use the Unicenter tools only to locate the server that is reporting the trouble.

Charles Kruse, vice president of IT services at AmeriCredit Corp.
Charles Kruse, vice president of IT services at AmeriCredit Corp.


A Wider View
Hamed Omar, senior vice president of technology infrastructure at Sallie Mae Inc., said the educational loan provider has been running SmartBPV in a test lab for about six weeks and will probably roll it out in the fall.
Sallie Mae's network has about 10,000 components, said Omar, who works at the company's offices in Fishers, Ind. He noted that SmartBPV and related Unicenter tools should give him a view of all the network devices and how they relate to business


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