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CA improves usability of its 3Tera cloud software

CA's cloud computing offering gets a fresh shot in the arm with the first update to its 3Tera software since the acquisition in February.

CA Technologies subsidiary 3Tera, acquired for $100 million earlier this year, has released AppLogic 2.9, its first update since the acquisition. The new features highlight CA's continuing focus on the nascent enterprise cloud customer and further defines the complex range of solutions CA is calling "cloud" these days.

These guys say they're doing cloud, but as soon as you poke at it, they're really doing one layer.

 Mary Johnston Turner, research director at IDC,

AppLogic 2.9 now comes with an application programming interface (API) exposed to users; previously, all control was done through direct interaction with AppLogic's slick Web graphical user interface (GUI) or a scripting interface. CA says it has buffed up high availability features and added IP-based network security tools. The company says that 3Tera's focus is more about creating applications than controlling infrastructure, and analysts agree that's the right thing to offer enterprises.

"It's important to distinguish it from traditional automated deployment," said IDC research director Mary Johnston Turner. "What 3Tera and other companies are brining is a model of what the service is and being able to design and deliver services as objects."

She said that the challenges of delivering infrastructure dynamically were largely solved and also less interesting than the services and applications that run on top of it.

What sets 3Tera apart
Turner said that 3Tera's abilities to create and standardize entire sets of applications and services were what set it apart from other cloud platforms. AppLogic has a valuable tool set on top of the infrastructure management (based on Xen) that other cloud platforms -- like Eucalyptus, Abiquo and Enomaly -- lacked.

"These guys [Eucalyptus, Abiquo and Enomaly] say they're doing cloud, but as soon as you poke at it, they're really doing one layer," Turner said.

For example, consultants MomentumSI recently tied together three products as a complete solution for developers: Eucalyptus, rPath and NewScale, with each vendor providing one piece of the puzzle, for a software development cloud. 3Tera could do that by itself; provided, of course, you only use Xen and play by their rules.

"That's the challenge, of course, is that you've got to sign up for something that is standardized," Turner said. She added that there's little doubt that CA will continue to improve and sell AppLogic as a core part of its cloud offerings, as it can satisfy a fairly specific desire for a cloud in a short time.

3Tera claims about 75 customers for its cloud platform, nearly all of which are managed service providers (MSPs), according to CA.

Carl Brooks is the Technology Writer at Contact him at

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