CA talks up on-demand computing

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Computer Associates has ramped up its push into the burgeoning “on-demand computing” sphere with a suite of new products under its UniCenter brand, including the anticipated Sonar.

CA executives--speaking at CA World 2003 in Las Vegas--said that the products in its UniCenter range, will benefit its channel partners.

“MSPs [managed service providers] are jumping all over this because it allows them to go to market and implement quickly,” said Dominic Schiavello, marketing manager for CA Australia.

The concept behind “on-demand computing” is to allow the IT department or solution providers to identify under-utilised IT resources and relocate them according to the business processes used by the organisation, Louis Blatt senior vice president of product strategy at CA explained. CA anticipates this product to appeal to all verticals as more and more companies rely on IT, however service companies, in particular IT service companies, will find the products particularly compelling.

Sonar is the product code name for technology that CA has been working on for the past few years, which the vendor claims totally redefines the idea of infrastructure management. One of the key features of Sonar is that works independently and dynamically to look for assets, catalogue them and assign them to business processes. This means it can be monitored without agents. It's this feature which CA claims will attract service providers to the product.

CA is attempting to go head to head with IBM and HP in the emerging market for “on-demand computing”. Both IBM and HP provide hardware and software for on-demand computing efforts.

CA's main advantage over its competitors, according to Blatt, is it is a pure play software provider operating in a market where IT departments have to manage heterogenous environments.

“It will take an independent software provider with no hardware agenda to manage an enterprise that is naturally hetergenous,” he said.

Sanjay Kumar, CA chairman and CEO told gathered press this field is still emerging. “The industry for the most part agrees on what the benefits [of on-demand computing] are, when it comes to how we go about getting these benefits, I'm not sure we're on the same page yet.”

Siobhan Chapman travelled to CA World 2003 in Las Vegas as a guest of Computer Associates.

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