CA Acquires 3tera

In its latest move to beef up its portfolio of tools to manage cloud-based systems, CA on Wednesday said it has agreed to acquire closely held 3tera Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

3tera has 80 customers, primarily managed service providers but also a growing number of enterprises. By adding 3tera's AppLogic software to its mix, CA gains a well-regarded solution for building, deploying and securing apps that run on public, private or hybrid cloud infrastructures.

CA has made clear in recent months that building, deploying and managing systems and applications that run in the cloud are key to its strategy moving forward. To get there, CA has also recently acquired Cassatt, NetQoS and Oblicore.

3tera's AppLogic provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that lets enterprise architects, developers and systems managers provision and deploy applications across virtualized cloud infrastructures.

Those looking to design and deploy composite applications can use the GUI to draw from a catalog of virtual server components, said Vince Re, senior vice president of CA's cloud products and solutions business line "They give you that discipline and provide a really complete solution so you have a way of designing end-to-end applications," Re said.

"3tera is noteworthy because of its focus on vertically packaged applications along with relevant infrastructure parts -- so that it creates a logical package that can be scaled quickly and easily to support wide ranges of users and deployed in different geographical locations easily," said Enterprise Management Associates analyst Dennis Drogseth.

Re said AppLogic also simplifies the provisioning of apps by providing an intuitive means of creating a virtualized infrastructure. It comes with the open source Xen hypervisor, though Re said CA may add support for VMware's ESX and Microsoft's Hyper-V.

Using the GUI's drawing tool, which is similar to Microsoft's Visio, an administrator or developer can provision an app or components. AppLogic automates the movement, deployment and configuration of apps to the cloud infrastructure.

"So if you say this application runs on one app server and is connected to a particular database, it will start instances of those three components," Re said. "It will make sure they are configured correctly so they are all connected properly, and then it maps that to the underlying cloud infrastructure."

Michael Dortch, director of research at Focus, said that CA -- with 3tera and its other recent acquisitions -- will be able to offer enterprises a full suite of solutions for building, deploying, scaling, managing and securing cloud-based applications and services.

However, even if CA successfully integrates 3tera, it faces numerous challenges, including persistent negative perceptions about the company's past business practices, despite significant positive changes in recent years. Also, CA still faces the challenge of newer competitors being seen as more agile.

"3tera and CA's other recent cloud-related acquisitions form the foundation for a strong portfolio of solutions, but it remains to be seen whether CA can build upon that foundation successfully," Dortch said.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.