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CA makes buyout to boost application management

Cendura acquisition brings automation to CA's configuration management database.
By Denise Dubie , Network World , 09/27/2006
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CA Wednesday previewed the next release of its configuration management database that will incorporate technologies obtained earlier this month via the acquisition of Cendura, whose software maps how applications relate to one another.  

CA officials would not disclose details of the acquisition other than to say the deal closed earlier this month and that Cendura's technology will be integrated into CA's configuration database management (CMDB) software in the next 90 to 120 days. Like EMC with its nLayers buy and IBM with its Collation acquisition, CA was looking to add automated application discovery capabilities to its product portfolio that could enable faster application performance problem resolution.

"The Cendura technology will automate the discovery of relationships between configuration items," says Helge Scheil, chief architect for CA's Business Service Optimization business unit. Cendura's Cohesion software collects data from servers supporting applications across a network and uses blueprints of popular applications such as PeopleSoft and Web servers such as Apache to compare customer configuration against an ideal setup. The software contains a repository of these ideal configurations, policies and best practices.

The company also today announced the general availability of its CMDB software, which starts at $100,000. CA says the updated version with automated discovery and dependency-mapping capabilities from Cendura will be offered as a free upgrade to existing CA CMDB and Cendura customers.

Part of Information Technology Infrastructure Library best practices, CMDBs store data about networks, systems and applications to help network managers pinpoint performance errors and ensure configurations' compliance.

CA CMDB software installs on an application server, with a database back end and Web front end. The software uses a central, federated database with hooks - CA calls them Universal Federation Adapters - into other data sources. It does not require IT managers to abandon existing databases and move configuration data to another server; it lets data reside in multiple places throughout the enterprise, with the central database knowing where that data is.

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