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August 18, 2010

UC4 promises virtual, cloud management with a twist

Promises new levels of control in virtual and cloud environments thanks to event processing

By Jason Stamper

DC

UC4 Software, a workload and process automation player, is promising the ability to bring new levels of visibility and control to virtualised environments, thanks to the combination of its technology with complex event processing (CEP) it recently acquired, CBR has learned.

The firm’s CMO Fred Kohout confirmed the news in a CBR interview. UC4 acquired CEP player Senactive in July, bringing what Kohout called a new level of innovation which also led to the firm rebranding itself as, "a leading provider of workload automation and IT process optimization solutions".

Kohout said the firm’s technology will prove invaluable to companies as they move into the virtual era, helping them create new virtual capacity, move virtual machines around the infrastructure as needed, and dynamically understand the state of virtual machines to allocate necessary resources on the fly. "We help make the virtual environment smarter," he said.

Kohout argued that as companies start to put mission critical applications into virtual machines they are seeing much higher utilisation rates of virtual servers, and they need careful – automated – control so they don’t exceed peak loads.

Another interesting capability is for UC4’s technology to work in the cloud, where an agent can offer the same kind of automation and control for virtual assets hosted in the cloud as it can on-premise. Kohout said this is useful not just for those starting to host virtual machines in the cloud, such as on an Amazon cloud, but also for those testing in the cloud and then wishing to bring workloads back on-premise: "We can toggle those for you, or manage your cloud workloads as if they are on-premise," he said.

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As for the firm’s recent acquisition of CEP firm Senactive, Kohout said: "We believe process automation has to become more intelligent. Through complex event processing customers can predictively model and manage their processes. Businesses are event driven but historically IT has not been. We are going to make the IT organisation more event and process aware."

To date, companies such as Progress Software, Sybase, Streambase, Tibco and Oracle have used complex event processing to analyse, in real or near real-time, large datasets such as those found in financial services or telecommunications, to find patterns that are suggestive of fraud, for example. UC4’s acquisition of Senactive is the first instance, to CBR’s knowledge at least, where a firm is using CEP to help to improve workload automation.

Kohout certainly made that point loud and clear: "None of the other players have a CEP layer," he claimed.

The nearest thing is probably from CA Technologies, which has an add-on for its CA Spectrum Network Fault Manager called CA Event Integration (EI) that it says offers event management for networks.

Meanwhile UC4 Software announced the hiring of a new CEO at the beginning of July in the shape of Jason Liu, most recently president and CEO of Univa UD, a systems management company. Liu, the rebranding and Senactive acquisition look to have given the firm new purpose.

In its most recent financial year to August 2009, it says it grew revenues to over $65m. Annual results for 2010 are expected any day now, though as a private concern disclosure is limited. Kohout said the company has over 1,800 customers worldwide, and around 250 staff. It currently manages VMware or HyperV environments and plans to add new platforms based on customer demand.

 

 

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