CA CTO Demonstrates Sonar Technology


New technology key to on-demand computing strategy


Computer Associates International CTO Yogesh Gupta Monday demonstrated Sonar, an asset-management/business-mapping technology that is at the heart of CA's on-demand computing initiative.

During his keynote session here at CA World, Gupta gave a public demonstration of how Sonar can dynamically reprovision server and storage loads based on desired service levels for specific shifting business processes and priorities.

The Sonar technology, which is the result of a multimillion-dollar development effort that includes some acquired technology, will be released in the second half of the year, according to CA, Islandia, N.Y.

CA Chairman and CEO Sanjay Kumar said there will be iterations of Sonar that CA will allow solution providers to sell exclusively, including a security-based product. There will be a number of Sonar-based technology products that will be "partner-ready and partner-serviceable," said Kumar.

CA is actively recruiting solution providers that offer services in the security market, Kumar said, adding that Sonar may open the door to services opportunities not available with other technologies or products.

Gupta said the complex and sophisticated Sonar technology analyzes and monitors seven layers of network protocols and can identify 1,500 products including specific databases, e-mail products and middleware stacks. Sonar then maps those products to both specific business processes and specific business units.

Gupta maintained that Sonar is revolutionary technology that puts CA several years ahead of competitors, a number of which are detailing new server and storage provisioning applications.

One big advantage of Sonar is that it works dynamically with CA security technology, he said. For example, Gupta said Sonar will ensure that a server that is reallocated from an e-mail function to a financial function will have the appropriate security controls.

Gupta also demonstrated wireless-based technology, part of a university research project, that dynamically switches a wireless connection across various wireless networks without dropping the session. Gupta pulled the plug on an 802.11-based Web session streaming realtime audio, and the technology automatically moved the connection to a GPRS wireless session.

Kumar said the technology will be brought to market by networking and wireless service providers, but CA will provide wireless management across multiple protocols and will support it in CA security and storage products. For example, Kumar said, a customer with a PDA could be receiving e-mail on one wireless based network, while another session automatically backs up data, he said.

"The ability for us to switch across physical protocols is very, very powerful," said Kumar.

CA customer Federal Express is attempting to build applications that span the multiple wireless protocols.

The dynamic wireless technology will also have broad applicability across corporate campuses and other networks, Kumar said.