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Cisco, CA Expand UCS for Better Data Center Management

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted May 19, 2010


More on data center management

When Cisco first launched its Unified Computing System (UCS), CA was among the first enterprise software management vendors to support the networking giant's foray into new areas of the data center. Expansion of a technology agreement between CA and Cisco may benefit Cisco UCS users with better data center management for both applications and networks.

Now Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and CA (NASDAQ: CA) are expanding their partnership to include new software integration for Cisco's server system. The expanded CA relationship with Cisco could help to further the management of Cisco UCS-based application deployments.

Specifically, the integration and enablement deal centers on CA Spectrum Automation Manager, CA eHealth Performance Manager and CA Spectrum Infrastructure Manager, Subo Guha, vice president of product management at CA, told InternetNews.com. The Spectrum Automation Manager is a CA technology for automated server provisioning based on policy, while the Spectrum Infrastructure Manager is an application for root cause analysis for server faults. On the performance front, the eHealth Performance Manager is intended to monitor device health.

The CA tools are for the most part looking at different elements of IT infrastructure than Cisco's own network monitoring and analysis tools.

"Spectrum Automation Manager, Infrastructure Manager, and eHealth are server-focused products, though they do include some UCS switch fabric monitoring capabilities," Jackie Ross, vice president of marketing for Cisco's Server Access and Virtualization group, told InternetNews.com

Ross said that Cisco has had a successful first year working with systems management partners including CA Technologies. According to CA's Guha, the response from customers has been very favorable and the common need has been a complete data center management offering, which is now being delivered by CA.

With the new integrated solution, CA isn't planning on charging its customers more for the extra UCS capabilities either.

"Current CA Technologies customers will have access to UCS integrated capabilities at no added cost," Guha said. "Customers considering and deploying both sets of products have access to CA Technologies and Cisco sales and services staff who are cross-trained in the joint solutions."

The new integrated CA solutions might also serve to benefit from Cisco's wider converged network effort in its joint venture with EMC and VMware. The joint venture's key product is vBlock, which combines storage, network and compute resources.

"The CA integrated products are complementary to vBlock," Ross said. "vBlock focuses at the infrastructure layer, including server, network, storage and hypervisor. The CA products focus at the OS, middleware, and application layers. Cisco UCS has been certified as interoperable with all major storage solutions. Thus, customers can choose to deploy CA and UCS with any company's storage solutions that are supported by the CA management solution."

Ross noted that, moving forward, CA and Cisco will continue working on deeper integration use cases that extend the two product families' provisioning, configuration management and monitoring capabilities.

"In addition, the companies are investigating other areas of cooperation such as security and service management," Ross said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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Tags: Cisco, CA, UCS, Cisco UCS

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