CA Completes 3Tera Acquisition

The purchase of 3Tera, a supplier of application packaging for the cloud, is CA's third acquisition of a cloud computing startup this year.
The new regime at CA has a cumulus accumulation complex. Since January, when William McCracken was on the verge of becoming chairman and CEO, CA has completed acquisitions of three cloud startups: 3Tera, Nimsoft, and Oblicore.

The first, of privately held Oblicore, a supplier of service level management, occurred a few days before McCracken's Jan. 28 appointment. No amount was disclosed in the deal. His appointment followed the planned retirement of former CEO John Swainson.

The acquisition of privately held Nimsoft, a maker of IT performance and availability monitoring, whether services are in the data center or in the cloud, was completed March 17 for $350 million.

Today, CA announced it had completed the purchase of 3Tera, a supplier of virtual appliance assembly and deployment, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition of the 20-employee company was reported by the 451 Group to be in the range of $90 million.

In closing the deal, CA said the firm plans to extend 3Tera, which currently runs on the Citrix Systems Xen virtualization platform, to VMware's ESX Server and Microsoft's Hyper-V as well.

3Tera's AppLogic builds applications into virtual appliances by combining the application with virtual machine software. The combination can be moved around the network as a single file, ready to run under a target hypervisor. The ability to run under three different hypervisors would make the AppLogic catalogue a source of workloads that could be deployed to a wide variety of cloud environments.

Nimsoft's customers included many hosted service and managed service providers. Upon announcing the intent to acquire Nimsoft, CEO McCracken said the firm had done a good job of reaching a customer set that CA itself had previously tried to sell to without much success.

In an interview earlier this year with InformationWeek, CA executive VP Chris O'Malley said CA was willing to disrupt its own product line if necessary to move decisively into cloud computing software. In today's announcement of the 3Tera closing, he said: "As organizations embrace cloud computing, they face new management challenges -- such as keeping their cloud vendors accountable and simplifying the migration of existing services to the cloud."

In fact, many CA systems management and application performance products intersect with its ambitions to provide monitoring and service management in the cloud.

On Feb. 10, CA became a member of an assertive cloud standards group, the Cloud Security Alliance, which is trying to define areas of vulnerability and set definitions and specifications to establish security in cloud exchanges.