CA Gives MSPs Cloud Onramp With 3Tera Play

CA Technologies on Monday launched a new MSP program around its 3Tera AppLogic cloud computing platform offering, giving MSP's the ability to provide cloud infrastructure to clients and build a business around a recurring revenue stream.

Along with the MSP program around AppLogic, CA also released the latest version of the platform, CA 3Tera AppLogic 2.9.

The new offering and the accompanying MSP program follow after Islandia, N.Y.-based CA's acquisition of 3Tera in February and its other cloud-focused acquisitions totaling more than $1 billion. It's the first CA-branded 3Tera product, which Jay Fry, CA marketing vice president of cloud computing, said is a "turnkey cloud computing platform" that adds "enterprise-grade polish" to 3Tera's existing offerings.

CA 3Tera AppLogic version 2.9 is an application-centric cloud platform that lets users and MSPs boost speed and agility by enabling them to build and deploy rapid and repeatable applications that they can build up and tear down almost instantly in a drag-and-drop fashion, Fry said. A cloud infrastructure can be built in as little as four hours and reusable applications can be pulled from a catalog to enable new business services.

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The offering is a fabric that MSPs and enterprises can use to create a compute cloud, or grid, and that manage the resources on the servers in the cloud. It's also a modeling tool to handle the applications and infrastructure that need to be deployed, which is defined through a model. AppLogic then takes that model, interprets it and deploys it on the fabric. Users and MSPs can move applications and their supporting infrastructures from development and test environments, into production environments, by dragging-and-dropping. That removes the need to replicate configurations manually and eases management of spikes or bursts of traffic.

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"Both customers and MSPs are looking to get to the cloud fast," Fry said. "This is a turnkey cloud platform that is much more revolutionary and lets you focus on the services side of things rather than the underlying technological components."

For MPSs, 3Tera AppLogic becomes a cloud platform offering, enabling them to offer their cloud customers services similar to Amazon Web Services, Rackspace or Microsoft Windows Azure. And the new partner program around CA 3Tera AppLogic gives MSPs free access to the platform up to 20 CPUs through March 31. CA doesn't take a cut until MSPs surpass the 20 CPU threshold, said Adam Famularo, CA's cloud computing general manager. CA currently has roughly 50 MSPs in the AppLogic program and hopes to bump that up to 300 come the end of March.

"We're going to give them support entitlement, web forums and live phone support," Famularo said. "We're also going to set up special introductory pricing that's going to give them a special low rate on anything over the 20 CPUs that they sell in that introductory period. They’re going to be part of our beta programs. They're also going to have access to our solution architects to learn about the best practices that other MSPs are doing. And we're also going to have an optional program for installation, support and training packages available to them."

Matthew Richards, CA senior director of product marketing, said the 3Tera AppLogic platform uses commodity hardware to tie together compute resources, storage, high availability, security and policy management into a single system that can be managed through a single user interface. Having all of that capability in a single product eliminates the need to string together several offerings from competing vendors, which Richards called the "evolutionary" approach.

Some of the new features in AppLogic 2.9 include network failover for high availability, storage health monitoring, IP flexibility and security, OVF image importing and a Web API that can e-linked into a self-service portal. It is also backward compatible with previous versions of the platform. Other capabilities include the ability to create composite business services, rapid implementation, high availability, network security, virtual SAN and a reusable services library.

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"On the MSP side, it provides a platform to them that lets MSPs build infrastructure-as-a-service or software-as-a-service on top, or a virtual data center," Richards said. "The MSP has a self-service portal model built in AppLogic as a single server which a customer clicks to buy."

Mike Michalik, CEO of Cirrhus9, a San Diego-based MSP, said AppLogic has been a driving force behind Cirrhus9's cloud business for the past few years. Cirrhus9 has been using AppLogic to be the cloud provider for its clients. For example, one customer, an ISP, contacted Cirrhus9, which set up and runs and manages its cloud environment and provides the services and support around it. And it's all done through white label.

"With AppLogic, it allows a client to create an internal cloud with commodity hardware," he said. "They can create a private cloud that is flexible and elastic."

Michalik said his company has done a good amount of business with AppLogic, business he expects to grow now that CA has taken the reins.

"Now that people are really starting to get cloud computing, the potential for the product is amazing," he said. "And CA has the resources to take a good product and make it better."