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6/2/2009
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CA Acquires Part Of Failed Private Cloud Vendor Cassatt

The deal will help CA put in place a more thorough automated data center product portfolio of its own for use in both private and public clouds.

CA announced Tuesday that it had purchased some of the assets of failed private cloud software vendor Cassatt, which announced abruptly at the end of April that it was ceasing operations.

CA will pick up some of the intellectual property and software around modeling applications and planning optimization that Cassatt used to automate cloud-like environments running in private data centers. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

CA didn't buy all of Cassatt, as it found a lot of the monitoring and software agent technology to be duplicative of its own products. However, Don Ferguson, CA's chief architect and the point person for CA's transaction with Cassatt, was impressed by Cassatt's work around modeling and optimization. The deal will help CA put in place a more thorough automated data center product portfolio of its own for use in both private and public clouds.

"The structure I have in my mind for many of the things we do is the concept of automatic computing," Ferguson said in an interview. "Cassatt gives us the ability to do automatic, informed optimization decisions in real time."

Last year, CA introduced a data center automation product now known as Spectrum Automation Manager that uses process modeling and management via Web services to allow data center administrators to build automated processes via a design tool rather than through complicated scripts. The company also has been doing work to bring together a more comprehensive view of data center information. Cassatt's technology would become an "engine" that plugs into that environment and recommends steps to take to best optimize and automate a data center.

Cassatt's need to focus on the "table stakes" of monitoring systems diverted resources and attention away from its core mission, Ferguson said. However, CA's established strength in monitoring could increase the focus of the 38 Cassatt employees -- including much of Cassatt's engineering team -- who are coming over to CA as part of the transaction.

Among those coming over to CA are Rob Gingell, Cassatt's executive VP of product development and CTO, and Steve Oberlin, chief scientist and co-founder. CEO and co-founder Bill Coleman, who in a statement called the transaction a "great move" for both companies, will not be joining CA.

Many of Cassatt's customers were already CA customers. Although CA will not assume Cassatt customer contracts, the company is meeting individually with each of Cassatt's customers to figure out how best to take the next steps in terms of both continued support and future product strategy. CA's product road map for Cassatt is still in flux, though it's clear Cassatt's assets will be integrated into CA's product suite.


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