CA to acquire cloud platform provider 3Tera

In 3Tera, one of the earliest providers of cloud-computing software systems, CA is getting both customers and technology.

James Urquhart
James Urquhart is a field technologist with almost 20 years of experience in distributed-systems development and deployment, focusing on service-oriented architectures, cloud computing, and virtualization. James is a market strategist for cloud computing at Cisco Systems and an adviser to EnStratus, though the opinions expressed here are strictly his own. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET.
James Urquhart
3 min read

IT management software vendor CA on Wednesday announced an agreement to acquire privately held 3Tera, a Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based producer of AppLogic, a cloud-computing management platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CA's press release announcing the pending acquisition noted that 3Tera adds new application delivery capabilities to its existing portfolio of cloud-related management tools:

By streamlining cloud-based deployment of composite applications, 3Tera adds significant new capabilities alongside CA's existing virtual and physical infrastructure management functionality--including that provided by CA Spectrum Automation Manager, the CA Service Assurance line of products, and the recently acquired assets of Cassatt and Oblicore.

CA plans to integrate AppLogic with these and other key technologies to provide customers with a comprehensive set of tools for delivering, managing and optimizing cloud computing as part of overall enterprise IT environment.

The technology assets and key personnel of utility computing management software provider Cassatt were acquired in June, and service level management software provider Oblicore was acquired earlier this year.

CA also plans to expand 3Tera's virtualization support beyond the Xen virtualization platform, to include VMWare ESX and Microsoft HyperV.

Jay Fry, vice president of Business Unit Strategy for CA's Cloud Products and Solutions Business Line, said in a phone interview that there were three key ways that 3Tera enhances CA's cloud story.

First, they bring customers. According to 3Tera's Web site, there are around 30 service provider partners running their cloud services on AppLogic, and Fry noted that they have a handful of enterprises who have standardized on the platform as well. Second, their user interface and application delivery technologies are a strong complement to CA's portfolio of infrastructure management tools.

Finally, 3Tera will allow CA to simplify the process of implementing and using private cloud computing services using CA's product portfolio, according to Fry. "Enterprises are not even sure how to get started with private cloud, and [AppLogic] makes it easier to talk about those first couple steps," noted Fry.

Forrester Research analyst James Staten wrote in a blog post Wednesday morning that achieving the latter goal may be a challenge for CA:

Confidential reports from two Forrester clients who tested out the platform substantially, stated that they found challenges in implementing the software and adapting it to their business needs. Hardly substantive, as the same can easily be said for nearly every IaaS platform in this immature space, but clearly something CA will have to examine once they get their hands on the actual code.

Staten, however, does see this is a significant event for CA:

If anyone doubted CA Inc.'s intention to get into the cloud computing market, you can't get away with that skepticism anymore. This company is serious. Its acquisition of early cloud leader 3Tera takes their nascent cloud entreaties to an entirely new level...

...This also takes CA beyond just a management software company and potentially beyond even just a software company. The service provider partners form a channel, one that positions CA as not just a software vendor, but also now a provider of cloud services itself. Its software portfolio becomes firmly rounded for hybrid cloud enablement, but this fundamental shift is a major event in the evolution of CA and its rebirth from the ashes of the dreaded old Computer Associates.