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CA rechristens self CA Technologies

The cloud maker formerly known as Computer Associates

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CA has finally conceded that its name is rather silly if you're not the state of California. The company's new top brass have decided that from here on out, we should call it CA Technologies.

The company has actually shelled out the millions needed to formally change its name. And even if it did, it will probably never shake the parenthetical "formerly known as Computer Associates," a tag that hearkens back to the difficult times the company faced in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Maybe it should just call itself FKACA and be done with it.

Whatever you want to call it, CA Technologies is hosting its CA World customer and partner event in Las Vegas this week, and the company is talking about two things. One on which it makes most of its money, and the other where it expects to make a lot of money in the future. That is mainframes and clouds, but if you think like IDC does, then a mainframe is a retro cloud that was way ahead of its time, so maybe it is only one market for CA - er, CA Technologies - to chase after all.

As El Reg reminded everyone last week when CA reported its financial results for the final quarter of fiscal 2010 ended in March, the company has returned to its acquisitive roots and has been snapping up a slew of tool makers that can be puffed into a set of cloudy infrastructure management tools, including Nimsoft (SaaS management), 3Tera (application cloud services), NetQoS (quality of service tools), Cassatt (server virtualization management), and Oblicore (IT service levels). The company already has a slew of systems and application management tools that can be brought to bear on clouds.

According to this report in the Wall Street Journal, William McCracken, the company's chief executive officer, said CA (Technologies) had spent around $700m on acquisitions last year and would spend another $300m to $500m to "buy technology that allows me to grow."

If all these acquisitions were not demonstration enough of CA Technologies' commitment to our cloudy future, the company spent a few bucks at a domain registrar to spawn a "collaborative community and website for IT professionals seeking insights into how to best use cloud computing to improve how IT supports business objectives," called the Cloud Commons. The systems software maker is also working with Carnegie Mellon University to create a Service Management Index, which will be available to members of the Cloud Commons to test and demonstrate the service levels. Two computer science researchers, Jane Siegel and Jeff Perdue of CMU's Silicon Valley campus, are working with CA on the SMI test.

The Cloud Commons site also has an interesting dashboard that shows the real-time performance of public cloud and SaaS providers, called Cloud Sensor. The dashboard shows performance metrics for Rackspace Cloud hosting (how long it takes to create or delete files); the uptime of Google Gmail, Windows Live Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail servers. Metrics for creating and destroying server images on Amazon Web Services EC2 clouds located in Amazon's east and west coast US data centers, its European data center, and its Asia/Pacific data center; and dashboard performance for Rackspace Cloud, EC2, Google App, and Salesforce.com.

CA also announced that it has rolled up a bunch of its software currently in its eHealth, NetQoS, Spectrum, and Wily Application Performance Management tools, which monitor and manage various aspects of IT infrastructure and applications, to create a new bundle called CA Service Assurance. By layering on the NetQoS tools, CA can not just tell you that a particular application is working (and why not if something is on the fritz with hardware or software), but tell you if quality of service metrics established for end users - silly things like the response time for transactions - are being met. ®

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