Sonar adds agentless technology to CA product lines

LAS VEGAS – Management has been the theme of this year’s CA World, with Computer Associates launching four new products here Monday to help enterprises manage their IT infrastructure and realize the benefits of autonomic and on demand computing.


products fall under the Islandia, N.Y.-based company’s Unicenter, BrightStor and eTrust brands and all have a common thread: Sonar, new technology developed by CA to discover and manage business processes.

Using a patent-pending “agentless” intelligence technology, Sonar correlates business processes to the supporting IT assets to align IT infrastructure investments with business priorities.

Sanjay Kumar, CA chairman and CEO, said a true on demand computing is still a few years away, but paying for technology on a per use basis is the Holy Grail for enterprise customers.

According to Doug McLaren, regional manager of channels responsible for Canada, the Sonar offerings are not intended for channel partners, but CA is willing to work with partners on specific projects on a case by case basis.

The four new management solutions for on-demand computing, which complement six other on-demand management solutions announced in April, are generally available or entering beta release.

BrightStor Process Automation Manager, automates the allocation and provisioning of storage resources across multiple platforms in response to business demands. An eTrust Vulnerability Manager is an asset-based vulnerability management appliance that provides the monitoring capabilities and security intelligence required to automatically pinpoint vulnerabilities that threaten the integrity of enterprise IT environments. Unicenter NSM Option for VMware Software is designed to monitor virtual machine environments on Intel-based Linux and Windows platforms and determining when additional resources are needed to fulfill service level requirements. Finally, Unicenter NSM Dynamic Reconfiguration Option is for managing and dynamically provisioning VMware virtual machines as needed.

Kumar said on demand computing is not so much about hardware, operating systems or business applications, but about making all of these components work together in a highly adaptable way.

“We manage the platform, we don’t provide the platform,” said Louis Blatt, chief technology strategist for enterprise software at CA. He said CA’s value to the enterprise is its 70 products under the Unicenter brand, which can be deployed on a case by case basis as required as customers require.

Blatt said Unicenter is more comprehensive than Tivoli, which he noted sold its service desk offering to Peregrine, and unlike HP with its OpenView product, CA does not have a hardware agenda. Blatt said on demand computing is not only about consolidation, but it is one the obvious benefits. However, he said even in an environment of tight IT spending, enterprises must strategically invest in new technologies to stay competitive.

For the Alberta Cancer Board, doing more with less is a reality, said Holger Henke, director of IS based in Edmonton.

“In health care, the funding is never sufficient,” he said, adding the priority is always on patient treatment. “IT is on the back end of the scale. The funding does not match what you need to do.”

The ACB, which provides cancer treatment across the province at 19 different sites and collaborates with the Universities of Alberta and Calgary on research, is using Citrix to deliver applications and CA’s Unicenter 3.0 to keep a better eye on its infrastructure.

Henke said Unicenter allows the ACB to be more proactive about solving problems. It is currently looking at deliver Unicenter alerts to its tech support people via handheld devices, since they are on the road between sites fairly frequently.

ACB’s goal is to provide 99.95 per cent uptime, and ensure that kind of availability requires monitoring.

The organization’s IT staff has not grown significantly, said Henke, “(but) we’ve been able to manage more.”

ACB uses a number of CA products, including its Advanced Helpdesk.

Meanwhile, in the Web services arena, CA released eTrust Directory 4.1, which according to the company, will provide an enterprise-ready UDDI implementation suitable for large-scale deployment and support of Web services, and the ability to replicate and distribute more than 100 million individual entries of Web services data.

Another new product is Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM), a solution for monitoring Web services across the enterprise. WSDM offers an automatic discovery function and the ability to monitor Web services so IT organizations can track performance indicators and respond to service interruptions.

CA World continues through Thursday.

— with files from Paolo Del Nibletto

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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