CA has announced the purchase of cloud computing software vendor 3Tera, in a move analysts believe will "gazump VMware" in the area of cloud provisioning and billing.
3Tera is the vendor behind AppLogic, a layer of infrastructure above the Xen hypervisor that allows service providers to provision and bill for consumption of compute services delivered over the network.
CA plans to take AppLogic to its wider channel base, and also port AppLogic to the hypervisors of Microsoft [Hyper-V] and VMware [ESX].
Sam Higgins, research director at Longhaus expects that such a move could one-up Microsoft and VMware when it comes to the provisioning and billing of cloud services.
"It's a very clever buy for CA," Higgins said. "It makes sense that a company making IT service management tools to do this. If CA can put resources behind AppLogic, it could potentially gazump VMware. I think it's good for the market"
Higgins said that for some time, 3Tera has been able to offer what VMware has been developing under its "vCloud" initiative - seeding service providers with a provisioning and billing platform and common interface such that customers can move between different cloud computing services as they see fit.
AppLogic is compelling, he said, because it allows an enterprise to easily move virtual machines between any data centre using 3Tera software. 3Tera has established what Higgins terms a competitive marketplace for cloud computing between data centres operating on the same platform.
CA has now bought four companies in quick succession that specialise in service management for cloud computing.
Higgins said CA has also invested in provisioning its software over the web, he said, beginning with its Clarity portfolio management products (now offered as an on-demand service) and moving on to its governance, risk and compliance products. CA has also ported some of its management applications to the force.com platform.
Higgins expects CA to provide 3Tera's AppLogic to its channel partners.
"CA is pretty channel friendly these days," he said.