CA Teams With Microsoft On Mainframe Cloud Development Project

CA Technologies is developing cloud data storage software for System z mainframes, the company said Tuesday. The new product, based on Microsoft's Azure cloud technology, is the first of what CA said will be a line of cloud software to come out of an expanded Microsoft alliance.

CA will be showing the new CA Cloud Storage for System z product at next week's CA World conference in Las Vegas.

"There's a need to bring classic cloud benefits into mainframe data centers," said Alok Tyagi, CA's senior vice president and mainframes business unit executive, in an interview.

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Because on-premise storage hardware can be expensive, businesses sometimes find themselves with inadequate storage capacity. Or they spend too much for capacity they don't need. "This combined solution will eliminate the need for customers to over-invest in storage capacity," Tyagi said.

CA Cloud Storage for System z will allow businesses to develop hybrid computing systems with mainframes tapping into cloud storage capacity when it's needed. The product allows businesses to store, access and retrieve z/OS data using a third-party cloud storage appliance and Microsoft's Azure cloud platform as the storage mechanism.

Hybrid systems provide a way for on-premise data center systems to take advantage of the flexibility and cost efficiencies of cloud computing, said Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft corporate vice president of developer platform and evangelism, in an interview.

CA and Microsoft channel partners will be able to develop solutions around the new CA Cloud Storage for System z, Tyagi said.

"I think this will be another tool in the toolbelt," Guggenheimer said of channel partners that deliver storage systems and disaster recovery solutions. Solution providers that work with Azure also are potential candidates to work with the new technology, he said.

CA Cloud Storage for System z will be generally available soon, according to Tyagi.

CA and Microsoft have cooperated on various development projects for years, Guggenheimer said. But the new work extends the alliance into the hybrid cloud computing arena.

CA has long been known as a company that acquires technologies from other companies. But under CEO Michael Gregoire, who took over CA's top spot in January 2013, CA is putting greater emphasis on in-house product development.