CA hints at data center automation product plans

* CA hints at making a move toward data center automation

Data center automation technology has become a feather in the hat for the big four management software vendors, with one notable exception: CA.

HP announced its plans to buy Opsware last year, shortly after BMC acquired RealOps. Already this year BMC said it would pay $800 million to acquires BladeLogic. and IBM never stops beating its autonomic computing drum, recently teaming with two U.S. universities to research virtualization and cloud computing along with self-managing and automation in its Tivoli software unit.

Yet it would appear CA isn't making any significant move toward this technology, or at least not on par with its competitors. At its last CA World conference, CA technology executives did discuss how the company was working toward delivering intelligent automation capabilities across its product lines.

At that time, CA CTO and executive vice president Al Nugent detailed the company’s work on a technology that would decentralize management software and provide policy-based exception management in an on-demand manner -- capabilities that are better suited to evolving customer environments.

"You can no longer bring everything into one place and manage from it. A centralized approach will not work, and by no means will customer environments only require one tool," Nugent said during a keynote address at CA World in April 2007. "In customer environments of on-demand everything, the management system has to be more reliable and available than everything else."

But since then the company mostly made news around incremental product updates. But that could change in the coming months. CA officials today say automation isn't a new area for the company. CA has been working with and delivering data center automation capabilities across products that tackle data, system and voice management as well as change and configuration management tools -- and the more obvious workload automation products.

"We have outlined key areas around data center automation and incorporated it into key products. Then we have a new product we will be talking about in the coming months that further ties our products together," says Sam Somashekar, a director of product management at CA.

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