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Notes from CA World

Jul 22, 20033 mins
Data Center

* Interesting ideas from Computer Associates' solution partners

I’m at Computer Associates’ annual love fest, CA World.  This is an in-gathering of 10,000 of the company’s nearest and dearest friends, located this time in America’s tribute to subtlety and thoughtfulness, Las Vegas.  For the last two nights I have slept in a rather largish pyramid with a big light beaming out the top.  I’m quite sure this is precisely what Ikhnaton, Nefertiti and King Tut had in mind. 

This city on occasion gives way to hype, so I’m staying indoors and talking with CA management on some occasion, and to CA partners and end-users at every chance I get.  Here is what I have learned so far.

CA is serious about its on-demand computing initiative, and has paid attention to beefing up the automation of its storage management tools.  It looks like lots of progress has been made here, and the release of BrightStor Process Automation Manager and ARCserv 10 towards year’s end will bring CA even closer to its goal.  After the first day of CA World, it looks like Process Automation Manager may be the most interesting of the new storage offerings.  It will address automation, workflow, policy creation, best practice policy enforcement and provisioning.  Clearly there is a need for this. We will all have to wait a bit, however, to see how well CA has implemented its solution.

It is always interesting to talk to the non-CA employees at these things and a couple of ideas from solution partners at the show are worth taking a look at.

AttachSTOR (, from Phoenix, is offering a pretty neat solution for IT managers who sense their e-mail management has gotten away from them.  AttachSTOR manages e-mail attachments, which represent an overwhelmingly large part of the e-mail content, actively and passively.

Attachments are stored only once, and are maintained in a compressed state. The company claims to be able to extend the lifecycle of an e-mail infrastructure by between three and five years.  Also, because its technology drastically reduces the size and number of each attachment, the implications regarding backup and recovery are obvious.

CaminoSoft ( is another small developer that offers an interesting product.  If you are a NetWare or Win 2000 shop, and see potential value in hierarchical storage management, you may want to take a look at this company. Its offering includes a disk-to-disk capability and, like AttachSTOR, plays very nicely in a CA BrightStor environment.  Particularly if you are considering some of the new ATA-based storage arrays, spending some time with CaminoSoft may be a worthwhile exercise.

I also had a chance to see my old friend Ricardo, who works for one of CA’s solution partners.  He’s from California, and thus somewhat suspect to my East Coast sensibilities, but I also know him as a straight shooter.  He told me that CA is getting a reputation among his engineers for being extremely responsive to his team’s needs.  Apparently CA’s development groups are also good at developing to spec rather than to their own interpretation of “what the spec should have been” (always a pleasing attribute to engineers who have to interface their own solutions to another company’s). 

More on all this next time, if I hear of something interesting.