CA buys Cassatt to stand above cloud fray

Once known for gobbling up any and all tech players, CA has laid low for a few years. Now it has acquired Cassatt and aims for the cloud market.

Software giant CA recently picked up the pieces of struggling cloud technology company Cassatt to fill out its portfolio for building private cloud infrastructures. Analysts said the mix of Cassatt's data center automation technology and CA's fleet of governance, monitoring and management applications makes CA a player in the fledgling private cloud market.

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Financial analyst Brenon Daly at the New York-based research firm the 451 Group said CA likely paid less than $10 million for the San Jose, Calif.-based Cassatt Corp.– a drop in the ocean compared with the $100 million in capital it received from Warburg Pincus and $15 million from New Enterprise Associates. Daly called it a predictable end for Cassatt – which was founded in 2003—and was way ahead of the times at its inception. It was widely reported that Cassatt had no more than a handful of large customers and none of them are named publicly .

[Cassatt] was going to change the world, and it didn't happen.
Brenon Daly,
financial analystthe 451 Group
"Cassatt had a distinguished pedigree, a boatload of money, it was going to change the world, and it didn't happen." Daly said. He said CA has taken a measured approach to the cloud market by seeking technology it can tuck into its product line.

The holy grail: Server automation
Last year, CA announced its foray into the private-cloud market with a suite of management, monitoring and governance tools that work with a variety of physical and virtual server platforms.

Cassatt's flagship Active Response software also works across both physical and virtual server environment. It was designed to automatically bring servers on and offline as needed to maximize energy efficiency and hardware usage. CA will roll the technology into its own automation software, now called the Spectrum Automation Manager.

"Everyone's going for the same thing. Despite all the hype over cloud, at its core it's about automating servers on premise," said Frank Gillett, principal analyst at Forrester Research. He added that potential cloud customers are more concerned with how to manage and monitor resources, something that CA has an extensive line-up of products to do.

With Cassatt, CA adds an "elegant policy implementation of scale," claimed Roger Pilc, the senior vice president of CA's Infrastructure Management and Data Center Automation business unit. CA hired most of the senior technical talent from Cassatt, including the co-founder and chief scientist Steve Oberlin.

Carl Brooks is the Technology Writer for SearchCloudComputing.com. Write to him at cbrooks@techtarget.com. And check out our Troposphere blog.

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