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Ever-acquisitive CA Technologies has bought WatchMouse for its monitoring tools for cloud, Web, and mobile applications.

The move, like several prior deals that CA Technologies has done in recent years, aims to keep the software company, which dates from the mainframe era, relevant in the cloud era.

Like many other system monitoring tools out there on the market, WatchMouse's eponymous application monitoring tool doesn't just watch cloudy applications, it runs on a cloud itself so customers don't even have to install anything in their data centers to make use of it.

WatchMouse was founded in 2002 by Stan van de Burgt, now CEO, and Mark Pors, the company's CTO, and is headquartered in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The company is privately held, and CA Technologies did not announce the financial details of the acquisition.

The WatchMouse tool takes in application data from 62 remote monitoring sites around the globe to give you a picture of how your online applications perform from the perspective of end users sitting in these locales.

The tool doesn't just tell you when your application performance sucks, but gathers up information about the applications as they are running (based on simulated transactions) to try to give you the root causes of why you should either upgrade your iron and networks or fire your programmers. WatchMouse counts financial services giant ING, consumer electronics behemoth Philips, and media giant VNU as its big customers, along with Citibank, BNP Paribas, AT&T, Orange, Siemens, Mitsubishi Electric, Symantec, Twitter, Disney, and Starbucks.

In addition to monitoring application performance on behalf of customers, WatchMouse also gauges the performance of the top 100 retail Web sites in the world leading up to the holiday buying season to gather up stats on how well – or poorly – these companies do under heavy load. Last month, the company announced its In-App Monitoring (IAM) service, which uses a set of open source APIs that application developers creating mobile apps for the Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems can embed in those applications to gather up performance information for the WatchMouse service without compromising the security or identity of end users. Licenses for the WatchMouse service run from $35 to $1,800 per month, depending on features, and a Lite version is available for Web sites that run free advertising for the product.

CA Technologies has been buying up companies to flesh out its cloudy tools in recent years, with the $330m acquisition of Interactive TKO in June this year. CA Technologies bought Hyperformix in September 2010 for an undisclosed amount, and ate cloudy system monitoring tool provider Nimsoft in March 2010 for $350m, platform cloud provider 3Tera in February 2010 for an undisclosed amount, and network monitoring software maker NetQoS in September 2009 for $200m.

CA says that there is synergy between the Nimsoft system monitoring service and the WatchMouse application monitoring service, but that WatchMouse will be tucked intro its existing Application Performance Management toolbox, which has over 1,500 customers. WatchMouse will be sold as a standalone tool that integrates with the Nimsoft service, which has over 1,000 customers. ®

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