CA Expands Cloud Computing Capabilities


The Cassatt deal will add to CA’s Lean IT initiative and give it more expertise in data center infrastructure management and automation

CA is expanding its cloud computing capabilities by buying assets from troubled Cassatt, a company started by high-profile Silicon Valley executive Bill Coleman about six years ago to build software to help enterprises manage distributed computing environments.

The terms of the deal, announced on 2 June, were not disclosed.

Ajei Gopal, executive vice president of CA’s Products and Technology Group, said the addition of Cassatt’s technologies—as well as several executives, engineers, developers and patents—will add to the company’s portfolio of data centre management software and its Lean IT initiative. Lean IT is designed to help businesses lower their IT costs and improve efficiencies by increasing data centre automation and optimisation capabilities.

“With the addition of Cassatt’s engineering team and advanced data center automation assets, CA will accelerate its development of software that helps customers make more intelligent, business policy-based decisions,” Gopal said in a statement.

Coleman’s vision was a precursor of the current trends in cloud computing and data center convergence, which are becoming key areas of competition for such top-tier companies as IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Novell and VMware.

Oracle also could become a major player in this area if its proposed $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun goes through. That deal is expected to close this summer.

Meanwhile, many of those players, as well as companies such as and Google, are pushing cloud computing—both public and internal environments—as a way of helping businesses reduce data centre capital and operating costs while increasing flexibility and agility.

A key part of these trends is management software initiatives from various vendors—including CA and Cassatt—to handle the rising complexity created by such computing environments.

Coleman, a former Sun executive and founder of BEA Systems, was able to attract some top-line talent to Cassatt, including such people as Richard Green, another longtime Sun executive who has reached the level of vice president of Sun developer platforms and Java software when he joined Cassatt in 2004.

However, Cassatt apparently ran through more than $100 million (£60m) over those six years and Coleman, Cassatt’s CEO, said in an interview with in April that while some companies showed interest in the company’s Cassatt Active Response software, few had actually followed through on buying it.

In that interview, Coleman said Cassatt had reached a point where it had to be sold or would go into bankruptcy. He said he had been looking for a buyer for several months and that there had been interest, though he declined to say from which companies. Reports had mentioned Google and as having early interest, though that interest eventually waned.

Now Cassatt is part of CA. Rob Gingell, Cassatt’s executive vice president of product development and CTO, and Steve Oberlin, a co-founder of Cassatt and chief scientist, both will join CA.

In a statement, Coleman applauded the deal with CA.

“Cassatt has long been a champion for using a cloud-style architecture to manage data centers like a ‘compute utility,’” Coleman said. “This is a great move for both organizations because of the vision we share—delivering a new, dramatically more efficient way to run data centres.”

CA Chief Architect Donald Ferguson said the combination of Cassatt’s analysis and optimisation technologies with CA’s automation capabilities with give CA a more comprehensive infrastructure management offering.

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