CA Technologies buys its way into cloud fray

By Kevin Kwang, ZDNet Asia

Its 2010 acquisition blitz to date includes Oblicore, Nimsoft and 3Tera and shows no signs of slowing as CA Technologies (CA) continues its buying spree to “plug gaps” and bulk up on technical capabilities, particularly in the cloud environment.

According to Andi Mann, vice president of product marketing at CA, the company has “some money left to spend” on companies that will complement the technologies and capabilities it already has.

“Previously, we have been acquiring companies for revenue stream but with the acquisitions of Nimsoft, 3Tera and others, we are now looking to buy technologies that can solve the problems we see our customers struggling with in the cloud environment [such as vendor lock-in and platform interoperability],” Mann said in an interview with ZDNet Asia.

He noted that with these acquisitions in place, the company’s products are now able to operate atop various data center architectures such as x86, Linux and Unix.

Cloud thrust fueled by customer interest
Elaborating on the company’s move to focus heavily on the cloud, Mann said businesses in the region are showing strong demand for the delivery model.

He pointed to IDC’s cloud computing survey conducted in April this year, which showed that 25 percent of companies surveyed in six Asia-Pacific countries–Australia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and India–said they currently use cloud computing.

This is more than double of a similar study conducted in 2009, when only 9 percent of respondents were actively using cloud technology, he said, noting that the increase is indicative of the market’s potential.

To illustrate CA’s cloud strategy, Mann cited the 3Tera acquisition as an example of how the company aims to address the issue of vendor lock-in for applications architected over on-demand infrastructure provided by cloud vendors such as Salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

With 3Tera’s AppLogic technology, he explained that companies can now simply “click and drop” applications from existing datacenter systems to virtualized machines, thus, simplifying the architecting and deployment of complex software across various platforms.

The simplicity of the technology also helps alleviate the lack of skilled manpower to move organizations into cloud computing, he added.

According to Chris Morris, IDC’s Asia-Pacific services director, the recent global recession had resulted in a lack of enterprise investment in IT skills and employee training over a 12- to 18-month period. This caused the skills shortage, said Morris, who sat in on the interview.

Expanding on Asian presence
Further elaborating on CA’s cloud strategy, Andy Cooper, its vice president of regional field marketing, said the Nimsoft acquisition will help increase the company’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the area of providing scalability which is a key feature of cloud computing.

Cooper explained that the number of big organizations in the region is comparably lower than the United States and Europe, but this landscape is set to change. And as Asia-Pacific midsize companies prepare to expand, CA–through its Nimsoft capabilities–is hoping to target this group of customers and provide the scalability they need to grow.

In a statement announcing the acquisition in March, CA said Nimsoft offers “one of the most comprehensive suites of IT monitoring and management solutions”. It will also provide organizations insights into application behaviors and infrastructure health and help ensure the reliability of critical business services and optimize hardware utilization, the company added.

In an earlier report by ZDNet Asia’s sister site, ZDNet, Deutsche Bank analyst Todd Raker said CA, due to its differentiated product lineup, is well-positioned to take advantage of these opportunities in the virtualization and cloud space.

Raker added that the shift in data centers to a hybrid model encompassing physical, virtual and cloud environments creates a huge opportunity for the software vendor, and he believes that the execution of its strategy will determine its success.

Maturing cloud ecosystem
According to IDC’s Morris, cloud deployment among enterprises will move beyond “sandboxing” and into mainstream adoption by mid-2011.

He added that tools built to help companies migrate to the cloud platform are also “maturing” in tandem and many of these will be available in the “next 12 months”.

Article credit: ZDnet

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