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CA Gets Into On-Demand Computing

The vendor will offer six new or updated Unicenter packages it says will make it easier for users to get the most from their corporate data centers

Computer Associates on Thursday plans to enter the market for on-demand computing with six new or updated Unicenter packages the company says will make it easier to manage corporate data centers in alignment with peaks and ebbs in companies' business.

During a keynote address by CEO Sanjay Kumar at the NetWorld+Interop trade show in Las Vegas, CA will discuss three software products under its Unicenter brand that will be available immediately and another three in beta testing that are due within four to six weeks, CA confirmed. The packages include software for network and systems management that maps IT resources to business processes, an application management program for use with webMethods Inc.'s' integration software, a package for dynamic provisioning of servers, and products for software delivery, asset management, and help-desk management, according to people familiar with CA's plans. CA also plans to discuss how its BrightStor and eTrust software will support its capacity-on-demand strategy in the future, according to sources.

CA, one of the largest suppliers to software to manage computing systems on corporate networks, needs to prove it can capitalize on the market trend of selling systems capable of allocating computing power toward applications that need it, thus letting IT managers change software configurations based on business needs. It's an effort by tech vendors to prove to customers that they can extract more value from expensive servers that often run below peak capacity. To compete with vendors such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard that can supply both hardware and software, CA plans to emphasize that its software works well across Windows, Unix, Linux, and mainframe platforms.

In addition, CA's new Unicenter products will make it easier for companies to buy systems, network, and application management capabilities separately, instead of bundled together. That could result in lower initial prices, says one industry analyst familiar with CA's plans. "It will make it easier to get in."

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