Time for IT departments to take hold of cloud reins
CA Technologies has unveiled a suite of products for corporate IT departments to manage the cloud services in use across their company, reflecting the increasing role of hosted computing for businesses.
As cloud services require no hardware or expensive integration work, end users keen to adopt new services can deploy them without necessarily alerting the IT department. As a result, many of these web-based services are currently beyond the control of the IT department, which is used to managing applications in order to monitor performance and security.
The nature of cloud apps can lead them to elude control by the IT department
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Chris O'Malley, the executive in charge of CA's cloud business, said the role of the IT department is changing from managing an internal technology infrastructure, to managing a series of partners.
"We believe IT is fundamentally changing as a result of the cloud. IT will go from being a monolithic supplier to managing a supply chain. There are some new capabilities required to make that happen and for companies to make the right decisions around that supply chain," he told the CA World conference in Las Vegas this week.
The cloud management suite is made up of four products: CA Cloud Insight, CA Cloud Compose, CA Cloud Optimize and CA Cloud Orchestrate. The new offerings are based on technology recently acquired from 3tera, Oblicore and Cassatt. Cloud Insight and Cloud Compose are expected to be available at the end of October, with Optimize expected in April 2011 and Orchestrate in the following quarter.
CA Technologies has also developed a set of measurements called the Service Measurement Index (SMI), which it hopes will become a standard for rating the quality of cloud services. In addition, the company has set up an online cloud apps directory and community called Cloud Commons and wants users to give a rating - using the SMI - of the apps they use.
The data will be used by the applications in the cloud management suite - Cloud Insight will allow IT organisations to compare and contrast various cloud apps based on their SMI score and other data, for example.
At the event CA Technologies also announced three new products in its virtualisation management portfolio: CA Virtual Assurance, CA Virtual Automation and CA Virtual Configuration, as well as an addition to its mainframe management tools called Mainframe Chorus.