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CA takes Linux to Heart

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At CA World this year, CA made a chunk of announcements along all product lines. This was par for the course, so we should not be surprised, but in amongst it all there was some interesting stuff, writes Robin Bloor of Bloor Research

It included Brightstor San Designer - a neat product in a way, which targets those companies implementing a SAN strategy. The problems with SANs, if you didn't know, is compatibility. So CA has a product which includes a knowledge base of compatibilities and problems that deals with it and, incidentally designs the set up for you.

Also worthy of mention in the web services space, is CA's AllFusion Harvest Change Manager, which adds change management to web services developers using either WebSphere Studio or Microsoft Visual Studio. In effect it spans the J2EE and .NET environments. The AllFusion Modeling Suite looks after maintenance, monitoring, delivery and security for web services through the associated CA products.

The jewel in the crown has to be CA's SONAR technology which sits above Unicenter and monitors the network, matching business processes to all the underlying layers. Leaning on in-built knowledge of 1500 products, it builds a knowledge base of what is around (by discovering it from network traffic) then uses it to manage everything at a business process level, doing everything from provisioning to root cause analysis. This looks very impressive on first blush and also ahead of the competition.

There were also some interesting asides in Yogesh Gupta's keynote which are worth mentioning. They include the fact that CA is seeing Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) take off. Yogesh referred to a college that had replaced its whole phone system with VOIP and noted that Cisco is expecting to do about $1bn in VOIP business over the next 12 months. He also got enthusiastic about wireless. Perhaps because CA has spotted the fact that all those wireless devices and connections are going to need a deep dose of system management not to get chaotic. He sees web services in the same light, and he's not wrong.

It was also interesting to note that CA has definitely taken Linux to heart. Not too surprising perhaps, because it was always more in the IBM (and hence Linux) camp than the Microsoft camp, but CA is clearly promoting Linux. At CA World it ran a Linux solution day, which included sessions on the future of Linux, hardware and Linux, Linux performance, a Linux 101 course and the Linux desktop. This last session is an interesting straw in the wind, which further indicates that the Linux desktop is real.

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