CA Unveils Sonar Asset Management-Business Mapping Technology

Allows Solution Providers To Identify Underutlized Assets

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Computer Associates kicked off CA World here by announcing a new information technology asset management/business mapping technology code-named Sonar that can detect and map IT assets across an enterprise and map them to business processes.

CA executives said the technology is key to allowing solution providers to fulfill the vendor's on-demand computing vision by providing the ability to identify underutilized assets and reallocate them based on the business mapping data captured by Sonar. "This is very cool stuff," said CA Chairman and CEO Sanjay Kumar in a press conference on Sunday. "It has broad applicability across various CA products." CA will further detail the technology at a press conference tomorrow, said Kumar.

Mark Barrenechea, senior vice president of product development and CIO of CA, said Sonar is the biggest potential game-changer among all of the products set to be unveiled here at CA World this week. The technology is set to be released in the second half of this year, said Barrenechea. CA did not detail pricing or channel plans for the technology.

"Our software through today has really been able to discover and inventory these assets," said Barrenechea, who referred to Sonar as a revolutionary step forward for IT management. "With Sonar we can, in very large scale organizations, look at these assets and turn them into business maps." In effect, Sonar allows solution providers to catalogue a customer's IT assets and map them to the business processes they support, such as order entry, he said. Sonar is at the heart of a CA effort to persuade solution providers to use the wide range of CA software from storage to security to application modeling.

Barrenechea, who joined CA one month ago from Oracle where he was senior vice president of applications development, said the product will help dramatically increase the utilization of both servers and storage assets. He cited industry estimates that most servers are underutilized, running at only 10 to 25 percent of their capacity, while storage assets run at only 25 to 35 percent of their capacity.

CA is still trying to hammer out how to package the Sonar technology, Barrenechea said. "Clearly Unicenter and security are probably the two areas that will leverage it most initially," he said. The product is made up of both acquired and home-grown CA technology, he said.

"The technology is very complex," said Barrenechea. "It sits on a network. It is agentless. It sniffs the wire and, as the bits go over the wire, we assemble that information to the original word document, to an original email or an Oracle database transaction. Then we take that and put it into our platform and do ontological modeling on top of it to produce a business map." The technology can be used in the security arena for security forensics and for infrastructure analysis, he said.

Valeh Nazemoff, director of business development, for DataTech Enterprises Inc., a Fredericksburg,Va. solution provider, said Sonar is the kind of tool that could have a significant impact on how her clients view their IT assets. She said many of the federal agencies and businesses that DataTech works with do not have a good handle on what products are being used by different parts of the organization.

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