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CA enters Web services management

update Computer Associates releases its first Web services management products to market and announces an array of related partnerships.

Computer Associates International on Monday delivered its first Web services management products and announce an array of related partnerships.

Islandia, New York-based CA is shipping Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management, an outgrowth of the company's acquisition of start-up Adjoin this past summer. As part of the unveiling, CA has lined up several partnerships to tie other companies' software to CA's Web services management tool.

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What's new:
Computer Associates delivers its first Web services management products and announces an array of related partnerships.

Bottom line:
Until now, Web services management has been the domain of smaller specialized companies. CA is entering the market as an established heavyweight in the traditional systems management field.

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Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management is designed to give network operators a way to monitor and track how Web services applications are meeting predetermined performance thresholds. Like traditional systems management products, CA's Web-services-specific tool compiles application performance information and sends out alerts to notify operators of a glitch.

Until now, Web services management has been the domain of smaller specialized companies. CA is entering the market as an established heavyweight in the traditional systems management field. HP, too, earlier this year acquired a Web services management start-up, called Talking Blocks, to accelerate its push into the market.

"The big vendors are hoping (Web services management) will be a natural evolution to their existing products," said Tom Rhinelander, an analyst at New Rowley Group. "Whether you do this through existing or new management tools doesn't really matter. But you do need a console to look at and drill down to find out what's going on."

CA has adopted a system in which software "observers," or embedded pieces of code within application servers code, can monitor messages sent between different Web services applications and detect how quickly tasks are done, or whether a failure occurred during communication. This performance data can be fed to Unicenter's existing systems monitoring product or other systems management tools.

Close ties to its existing systems management products, which track the performance of hardware such as servers, storage devices or server software, will be essential to adoption of Web services management products, said Marc Camm, director of business development for Web services at CA.


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"Managing the Web services layer is important, but you need a combination of technology to offer end-to-end management," Camm said. "People want a holistic view."

CA has also established several partnerships to help drive adoption and complement the features of the new product. The goal of the partnerships, said Camm, is to allow the product to share monitoring information with third-party tools to help spot performance problems while an application is running or during the development process.

The companies that have signed on to support the product include Microsoft, BEA Systems, Sun Microsystems, open-source application server maker JBoss Group, business process integration software company Collaxa, network traffic accelerator DataPower and tools company Systinet.

CA intends to support a forthcoming Web services standard specification, called Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM), which is set to be completed early next year. Products that are built to conform to the eventual standard will be able to share monitoring and performance information without any custom coding or configuration.