CA Offers 'Lean IT' Management Tools For Lean Times

CA has expanded its enterprise IT management (EITM) software lineup, on Monday debuting 13 enhanced products the company said will prove popular with customers who are trying to get their IT costs under control in these tough economic times.

Some of the products, such as CA ARCserve Backup and CA XOsoft High Availability, are sold exclusively through the channel while others, including CA Wily APM, CA Spectrum Infrastructure Manager and CA eHealth Performance Manager, are sold both through channel partners and directly through CA's sales force.

CA is debuting the upgrades under what it's calling its "Lean IT" initiative to help organizations maximize the value of their IT investments and minimize wasted time and resources, said Joanne Moretti, senior vice president of product marketing and analyst relations.

The new and enhanced products are designed to optimize and automate IT processes, she said, and improve IT managers' visibility into how those processes are run. She quoted a recent Gartner report that concluded 68 to 70 percent of IT budgets is spent on routine IT processes. "We think that's incredibly high," she said.

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"I think everybody is spread a little thinner. Cost takeout is very important," said Ron Watt, marketing director at Empowered Networks, a Toronto-based CA channel partner, speaking about his customer's IT management resources. Such customers, he said, are looking for tools like those being offered by CA to streamline IT operations. "Keeping the limited staff focused on what drives business results is key," he said.

Of particular interest to CA resellers are enhanced versions of the CA ARCserve Backup and CA XOsoft High Availability data storage, backup and recovery management software that together makeup CA Recovery Management. Highlights of the new releases include virtualization enhancements, built-in data de-duplication, a business intelligence dashboard and new storage resource management capabilities.

Release 12.5 of CA Recovery Management helps improve the efficiency and cuts the cost of data storage, protection, and recovery through enhancements for working in virtualized environments, as well as the addition of new data duplication and storage resource management (SRM) capabilities, said Frank Jablonski, senior director of product marketing for the company's Recovery Management and Data Modeling business unit.

ARCserve Backup r12.5 includes data de-duplication that helps customers get an immediate return-on-investment with the software, Jablonski said. De-duplication removes duplicate information as data is stored, backed up, or archived. It can be done at the file level, where duplicate files are replaced with a marker pointing to one copy of the file, and/or at the sub-file or byte level, where duplicate bytes of data are removed and replaced by pointers, resulting in a significant decrease in storage capacity requirements. Also new is integrated support for image-level backups of virtual servers and granular recovery of the images without the need for a staging server in VMware and Hyper-V virtual environments, Jablonski said. Certification of support for XenServer is underway, he said.

CA added a dashboard with integrated SRM reporting so that customers can see not only failed backups but also across servers, processors, LUNs (logical unit numbers), and disk fragments to look for files to move or delete before a server locks up, Jablonski said. Also new is Media Assure, which validates that the storage media such as a tape used to store backed-up data will not cause a problem later should the data need to be recovered.

CA also added more security tools to ARCserve, including the ability to audit access to data and to manage encryption keys. ARCserve can encrypt data at the production server, the backup server, and/or the tape drives, Jablonski said. "We now allow encryption keys to be stored in a database to help prevent their loss," he said.

ARCserve is now available in five versions which are bundled with all the needed software for specific purposes, including versions for file servers, virtual servers, data base servers, application servers and messaging servers.

Next: CA XOsoft Expands Virtualization Support

The second component of CA Recovery Management is XOsoft High Availability r12.5, which provides data replication for high availability environments, and now supports VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments, as well as supporting replication of Linux and Unix environments in addition to Windows, Jablonski said. Also new is support for replication of Microsoft SharePoint: XOsoft previously supported Exchange, SQL Server, and Oracle applications.

CA added more protection for XOsoft environments, including the ability to protect the server that hosts XOsoft from problems that could limit the ability to make changes or additions to the replication environment. XOsoft also now takes periodic snapshots of its system state files for improved restarts if a production server fails.

CA also debuted the CA ARCserve X-tra Value Pack that the company said offers an attractive price for the CA ARCserve Backup Suite bundle that includes two free copies of CA XOsoft and one-year of maintenance services.

A new release of the CA Wily APM (application performance management) toolset, which includes the CA Wily Introscope and CA Wily Customer Experience Manager, provides IT managers with greater visibility into -- and control over -- transactions as they are processed across distributed, heterogeneous systems and service-oriented architecture environments. New custom business dashboards display in real-time the health status of applications, according to CA.

Also unveiled were new releases of CA's IT infrastructure management software, including CA Spectrum Infrastructure Manager 9.1 and CA eHealth Performance Manager 6.1.1. They offer new capabilities that make it easier to manage both physical and virtual systems with one tool, according to CA. New functionality also provides managed service providers with expanded management capabilities for preventing service degradations and resolving problems more quickly.

A new release of CA Workload Automation (r11.1) offers bi-directional workload initiation, dynamic business event recognition and simplified job management to improve IT service delivery by automating workload processing as business events occur, according to the vendor.

CA is also shipping new versions of its service management tools, including CA Service Catalog r12, CA IT Client Manager r12 and CA Service Desk Manager r12.1. Enhancements in the Service Catalog release streamline process changes and speeds up service provisioning, CA said, while the updated Service Desk Manager provides a unified view of planned and detected changes across an IT network.

CA also unveiled CA Clarity PPM On Demand Essentials, a slimmed-down version of the CA Clarity PPM On Demand software-as-a-service project and portfolio management software. The Essentials package combines the most common PPM functions with end-user training and a five-day, fixed-price implementation program. Also making their debut are versions of the PPM On Demand software tailored for IT governance, new product development, and U.S. federal government compliance and program management.