CA unveils service availability

Computer Associates Monday drove home the point that it no longer wants to be known for addressing disparate IT problems with separate products.

The company unveiled CA Service Availability to attendees at its annual CA World conference. CA Service Availability is a set of product bundles that include the latest versions of Unicenter as well as new products that provide more intelligent asset and service management, the company said. Service Availability is comprised of components from Unicenter, eTrust, BrightStor, eHealth and Spectrum, and includes the new features in Unicenter 11 as well as the capabilities of Unicenter Advanced Systems Management 11, designed for managing virtualized environments.

Alan Nugent, senior vice president and general manager of CA's Enterprise Systems Management (ESM) business unit, discussed with press the features included in Service Availability, but also the technology behind it. For one, Service Availability will vary among CA customers in terms of the size of the rollout, the specific tools included across CA's portfolios and the duration of the implementation.

"Service Availability will help our customers marry underlying IT foundation with IT services," Nugent said. "It moves products from pure monitoring and management to unified role-based control and automation.

Service Availability when coupled with the company's just announced Enterprise IT Management (EITM) Accelerators will provide customers with an assessment of their current network management and security strategy and the best way to move forward to address pain points. Based on that, CA will deliver Service Availability and its underlying components, such as set of bundled products, or a solution, as the company says.

The product bundles, according to Rich Ptak, principal analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates, are an example of CA's intention to expand itself beyond a point product vendor that addresses technology problems to a technology provider that can help customers solve business issues with technology.

"If CA can get the [EITM Accelerators] defined and prepared for customers, the company will be able to help customers address bigger business issues," Ptak says.

The EITM Accelerators are sets of canned processes based on the tenets of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and the Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT) among other best practice frameworks. The EITM Accelerators will provide customers with various on ramps to the over EITM strategy, because CA officials said they are aware customers will not be ripping and replacing their current infrastructure management tools.

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