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CA Plots Next-Gen Attack

Next-gen data centers will likely emphasize blade servers, grid computing, and context-aware programming, according to software monster Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA). But users should be patient until these technologies arrive.

At least that's the story told by Don LeClair, CA's senior vice president of development, who spoke with Next-Gen Data Center Forum last week. With LeClair the lead executive in the CTO's office responible for setting its technology strategy, it looks as if big changes might be in store for the Islandia, N.Y., company's hundreds of software products.

The ultimate goal is for users to build self-managing data centers, but modern technology isn't advanced enough to do it, says LeClair. "You need to have a complete understanding and service-level agreements for every process in your enterprise. Even if I had all the tools, could I implement them right now? I think the answer is no."

As for blades, grids, and artificial intelligence, much of it is still too focused on science over business purposes, LeClair says. Virtualization software is a key, and CA will continue to resell VMware Inc.'s virtualization technology, even though storage software rival EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) recently purchased that company. For grids, CA is researching how to merge security and resource scheduling with Web Services. Mainstream business grids will catch on in about a year to 18 months, LeClair believes, so by that time it'll be Unicenter 12 that offers grid management features.

An important tool in question is policy-based automation software, LeClair says. CA already has some policy capabilities in its BrightStor, ServiceDesk, and Unicenter Network & Systems Management DRO suites. CA's eTrust Identity and Access Management Suite and CleverPath Aion Business Rules Expert are slated to get policy upgrades next, by the end of this summer.

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