CA aims for steady access to information

Acquisitions and focus shifts have kept CA busy

Bob Davis, senior vice president and general manager for CA's Storage Business Unit, has his hands full as the company integrates its latest batch of acquisitions and shifts its focus from infrastructure management to information management. Deni Connor gets the latest from Davis here:

CA has been busy in the last year . . .

It's been an interesting year with the Ilumin, MDY and XOSoft acquisitions. We've been integrating those with our current product lines in the information recovery and resource management areas.

I'm not familiar with MDY. Tell me about them.

MDY is in the records management space. At first glance, MDY looks like a Documentum. Some of the same words would be used to describe them -- they worry about compliance relative to records retention, records ownership and records destruction. What's different about MDY than Documentum is they built a strategy on what the marketing literature calls federated records management. It's a manager of managers that sits on top of a variety of data repositories that includes things such as Documentum, SharePoint and e-mail systems like Ilumin and KVS, and allows you interfaces to their APIs for records management, records retention and policies so you can comply with the laws affecting your business from one spot rather than from individual repositories.

MDY has interfaces to flat files and database repositories. Its job is to provide a records and policy manager across all the repositories an organization may have.

That and the Ilumin acquisition fit into your storage strategy in that they are broadening what CA can do with data and how it is treated?

Right. They are in the information management component. MDY has a product line called FileSurf; Ilumin's product line has become CA Message Manager. Together they provide that information management piece, which is part of three main product areas for CA. We still have ARCserve and when we purchased XOSoft, we saw that as integrating nicely with ARCserve to be able to provide a range of data protection solutions from disk-based backup to failover to continuous data protection. It added capability to the recovery management area. The third area is resource management, which started with the acquisition of Sterling several years ago. That is the storage resource management [SRM] product, which fits with our mainframe SRM product called CA-Vantage.

We have those main product lines -- information management is made up largely of acquisitions; recovery management certainly revenue-wise is made up by ARCserve and enhanced by acquisition; and, resource management, which is made up of longer standing CA products.

If you look at CA's overall storage strategy, how would you describe it?

We are trying to provide uninterrupted access to information. It sounds simple, but it is different than what we used to do. I would characterize one of the main differences as a lot of the work was container-focused. We worried about managing the performance of an array or switch, backing up a server faster and cheaper. It was very much an infrastructure view of storage, not unlike the industry at the time. We said the hardware vendors are doing a lot of performance management and in-depth knowledge and monitoring of their devices. It might be better served for us to focus on the information side of storage and integrate our products more tightly with the applications and the information associated with those applications. Data movement became more important as a result -- that's why we started to look more closely at e-mail archiving -- not just because of the archiving component, but because of the classification associated with the discovery and compliance piece. That's what led us into the acquisition of MDY. We said if we can classify information and understand data better, we could manage the information in the infrastructure better. If I know what the information is, users can apply rules and properties associated with how important it is to their companies.

Do you find that many of your storage customers adopt CA storage products based on their use of ARCserve?

We have a lot of customers come to us from the ARCserve side. The customer base is huge for ARCserve. ARCserve is a rich source of opportunity for us.

What are the goals of your Storage Business Unit over the next year?

To grow it. We've come out of the last year and a half with a portfolio refresh that brings to the market a significant number of new products. We have a huge focus on customer satisfaction and out-of-the-box experience. And we have some very aggressive development in policy management in all of our storage areas.

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