CA ties management suites to Amazon's cloud

What's needed to make cloud computing really manageable for enterprise IT? CA joins BMC, others in leap to Amazon EC2 bandwagon, but much work remains on the portability front.


Rival data-center management vendor BMC announced in July it had modified its suite of management products to give customers better visibility and control over applications and data living on Amazon's EC2.

Like BMC, CA is promising its integration will allow customers to set and monitor service levels, create policies that will trigger complex business-process responses to specific situations and control both costs and security by providing better reporting and control over virtual servers, data and applications based in the cloud.

Just having those capabilities available within the cloud is a significant benefit, according to Rich Mogull, a former Gartner analyst who now runs the Securosis, L.L.C security consultancy.

Earlier this month both CA and Novell demonstrated identity management products tweaked to be able to provide better security to both cloud- and SaaS-based applications.

That, plus the integration of core data-center management products into Amazon's high-profile EC2 are early signs of the maturation of cloud-based services, which will take as long as seven years to mature into fully reliable data-center-quality resources, according to a recent report from Gartner.

Among the top requirements of customers, aside from the ability to link existing management applications to cloud infrastructures, is the ability to no rely on a single vendor or cloud provider for a specific function, another Gartner report says.

Real maturity in cloud computing will include not only standards that will enable customers to move data or applications from one cloud service to another, but also independent brokers that would allow customers to choose the best resources from among a variety of specialized-function providers, the report says.

Gartner predicts the cloud-computing market will grow at more than 20% per year, from $46.4 billion in 2008 to $150.1 billion in 2013. Business processes - which made up 83% of that market in 2008, will continue to make up its bulk. The most common cloud-based functions currently are advertising, e-commerce, human resources and payment processing applications, Gartner says.

"Really savvy developers can do just fine with EC2 the way it is, but sophisticated enterprise customers want more management capabilities to be built in," Staten says. "This truly does provide a real opportunity for CA and BMC and other vendors that glom on to it, though."

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