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November 15, 2005

CA unwraps two new service desk suites

Computer Associates International Inc has named the first of what will be a series of forthcoming solution sets that it has worked up from a blend of new applications and upgraded existing software products that are tightly integrated through its service oriented integration platform.

By CBR Staff Writer

Described as being EITM-enabled, to emphasize an effort by CA to be seen as selling various Enterprise IT Management suites rather than point products, the offerings will each couple new and updated components to a series of so-called EI Accelerators of patented integrated IT process flows that are based on standards and best practices, such as Cobit and ITIL.

First out is a product known as CA Service Availability, which incorporates some new correlation, systems, and virtualization capabilities in a revamped bundle of Unicenter NSM r11 (Network and Systems Management) and Unicenter ASM r11 (Advanced Systems Management), Unicenter Service Desk r11 and Unicenter Service Metric Analysis r11.

The product is intended to provide service desk administrators with a single view of disparate enterprise infrastructure assets, to highlight aggregated views of attributes such as performance and real-time response rates. It includes the first in a number of yet-to-be-released accelerators, in the shape of an event to resolution accelerator, Alan Nugent CA’s general manager for ESM said.

He said the product also takes in some new system management capabilities in that the software will automatically run common and continuous asset discovery processes that can be set according to the required depth, bandwidth, or asset footprint. That means an accurate catalog of IT assets can be maintained in the configuration management database more easily than before.

Dynamic resource allocation is another new characteristic of the CA Service Availability set, which continuously balances system utilization so that the infrastructure is fully optimized to suit business service delivery requirements. ASM r11 also sees the introduction of some useful resource brokering features that will let administrators monitor services across both physical and virtualized assets such as VMWare, LPAR, or Microsoft Virtual Server, as well as virtual Grid topologies.

Also on the release schedule is CA Service Management Solution, a combination of a new web-based analytics tools and six other existing and upgraded Unicenter elements.

This suite is tailored to providing IT shops with all that they need to better understand the fully loaded cost of providing business services, and covers a whole gamut of management procedures for service requests, service provisioning, and service delivery. It will make for more effective demand management by clearly associating IT assets with business processes, and brings an understanding of the application infrastructure by mapping assets to services assigned to business processes, said Jacob Lamm, general manager of the company’s Business Service Optimization division.

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The arrival of the new Unicenter Service Intelligence module brings on stream a variety of tools that will help in decisions over IT services, service costs, and service assurance levels. Menu tabs can be used to display graphics and lists of key information on the estimated and actual costs associated in providing a service, views of service performance by hardware utilization, procurement history, or according to estimates of the total cost of ownership.

The system lets users drill down into more detail but will also launch underlying native applications such as Unicenter Service Desk to launch a trouble ticket, or Unicenter Service Accounting to view data held on activity-based cost management or accounting worksheets.

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