• United States

News briefs: CA to buy Cybermation

Apr 17, 20064 mins

Also: EPA and Sun to define energy-efficient server spec; Microsoft to end support for Windows 98, ME in July; mobile domain hopes to dominate mobile Internet; distributed computing project targets avian influenza

  • CA last week announced it will acquire Cybermation, a maker of workload automation software that CA says will broaden its products for managing mainframe software. The $75 million deal, set to close in 30 days, will augment CA’s workload automation product portfolio, which consists of applications such as Unicenter AutoSys Job Management and CA-7. Cybermation, whose customers include Allstate Insurance and Moen, will provide CA with technology to help customers consolidate multiple scheduling tools across platforms, operating systems, applications and databases to provide a centralized management platform, CA says. Despite talk of mainframe products losing steam, IDC estimates the job scheduling software market will grow to $1.8 billion in 2007. Last year CA augmented its mainframe portfolio by acquiring technology it had been reselling from InfoSec.
  • Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency met with executives from Sun and other companies last week to create a standard energy efficiency metric for servers, furthering the focus Sun has placed on energy efficiency since the introduction of its most recent line of servers. Advanced Micro Devices, a supplier of chips for some Sun servers, and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab also attended the meeting. The group hopes to define a common measurement that server makers can use to indicate the energy efficiency of letting customers compare and choose products based on the common measurement, Sun says. The group hopes to complete and introduce the metric in mid-2006. When Sun introduced its T2000 servers based on its UltraSPARC T1 processors late last year, the company highlighted the low energy consumption of the products.
  • Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows Millennium Edition are nearing the end of their support from Microsoft. The software vendor will stop supporting these operating system editions on July 11, according to information on its Web site. All public and technical support and security updates for the products will be suspended, the company said. However, online self-help support will be available on Microsoft’s support Web site until at least July 11, 2007. Microsoft considers these operating systems outdated and therefore security risks to customers, according to its Web site. Microsoft recommends customers still running these operating systems upgrade to newer versions of Windows, such as Windows XP, as soon as possible. Microsoft originally planned to end support for Windows 98 and ME in January 2004, but extended that to June 30, 2006, before announcing in January that final support would come on July 11 to allow for some last security patches.
  • In a move to drive uptake of mobile Internet services, mTLD Top Level Domain will begin next month to issue Internet domain names geared toward mobile devices, coupled with a set of design standards. The .mobi domain name, which has been approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is reserved for Web sites designed to work with mobile handsets. The aim of the new venture, established by Microsoft, Nokia and Vodafone, is to make mobile Internet services easy to use and affordable to develop, said Neil Edwards, CEO of mTLD in Dublin, last week. Companies holding trademarks can apply for .mobi domain names during a limited industry sunrise period from May 22 to May 29. This phase will be open to more than 10,000 companies and associations in the mobile phone industry. A general business sunrise registration will follow from June 12 to Aug. 21.
  • A research institute is harnessing the power of thousands of computers over the Internet to investigate potential drug treatments for deadly avian influenza. The Rothberg Institute for Childhood Diseases, in Guilford, Conn., said last week it had detailed the first mission for volunteers participating in the distributed computing project. Volunteers download a screen saver program that simulates the binding of drug molecules with proteins – referred to as targets – in avian flu, the institute said. The screen saver, which is visible in a computer’s program tray, kicks in when the computer is idle. The institute likens the process to hunting through a batch of keys – meaning the drugs – to find the right one that fits a protein in the virus. The results are sent back to the Rothberg Institute when the computer is connected to the Internet. The institute said 80,000 volunteers in 93 countries are participating in the project.