IT management software company CA Inc. has signed a definite agreement to acquire cloud computing technology provider 3Tera Inc.
The closing conditions are expected to wrap up within a few weeks, said Jay Fry, vice-president of business unit strategy at CA. “From there, we can start the process of working on joint roadmaps,” he said.
CA plans to extend 3Tera’s AppLogic platform (which currently operates on Xen) to support both VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V. AppLogic will continue to exist as a stand-alone product, “but there are some nice synergies too,” said Fry.
AppLogic will become part of CA’s cloud products and solutions business line, which fits broadly with CA’s recent acquisitions of Oblicore and Cassatt Corp, he said.
Oblicore looks at service levels and translates performance data into business metrics; 3Tera makes it easier to move applications to a cloud environment; and Cassatt helps with optimization to determine “the smartest way to do all of this,” he said.
“I think the combination of all of these, plus additional organic developments we are doing internally, is going to help us be able to let customers have a much more robust and effective way of looking at how they should use clouds in their environment,” said Fry.
3Tera’s technology is “a great first step” for companies looking to encapsulate, configure and deploy applications into a cloud environment, said Fry. “It’s done in such a way that you can set it up to deploy in one environment today and maybe a different one tomorrow … that cloud enablement capability is what was really interesting,” he said.
Another big attraction to 3Tera, according to Fry, was the company’s customer base of enterprise clients and service providers. “That dual focus and the emphasis on service providers was a big interest to us because it’s reflective of how we think the market is shifting going forward,” he said.
“Our strategy is to continue to provide a lot of the assurance, security and virtualization management products that we have as a way of providing information about the environment both internally and in the cloud, and then secondly, start to provide tools that are helping IT manage this supply chain of computing that the world is shifting to,” said Fry.
3Tera’s AppLogic will become a platform for CA to sell management tools, not only to service providers but also to their customers,” said James Staten, principal analyst at Forrester Research.
“CA will start to sell this technology to enterprises that will be ready to convert internal virtual infrastructure into cloud environments, and then following a big degree of integration with CA’s existing products, CA will be ready to provide management technology for the cloud, against emerging competitors such as VMware,” said Staten.
But Donna Scott, vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner Inc., raised questions around 3Tera’s size and limited virtualization platform support.
“There are challenges – 3Tera is very small, this market is just emerging and 3Tera only works with Xen today, which is fine for the service provider market, but the enterprise market mostly uses VMware,” said Scott.
All of 3Tera’s employees will join CA, Fry noted. Barry Lynn, CEO of 3Tera, will move to CA with a three- to six-month contract.