CA Technologies boosts cloud service assurance

CA Technologies has launched version 3.0 of its CA Service Operations Insight platform, which is designed to help enterprises and service providers manage business services across both traditional premise-based and cloud-based IT environments.

The release is part of the company’s push to offer enterprises more of what CA calls ‘cloud choice’—more management control over new hybrid cloud environments while also protecting legacy IT investments. The Service Operations Insight platform (formerly called CA Spectrum Service Assurance) lets IT pros visualize and analyze infrastructure, applications and transactions together to identify and resolve service problems quickly.

The system correlates and analyzes information from infrastructure, application performance and other IT management tools in real time and uses the information it collects to map and display IT assets, calculate service quality and identify possibilities for poor service quality. It also triggers service desk tickets.

In a post on CA’s service assurance blog, David Hayward, the company’s senior principal product marketing manager focused on service operations analytics, described the need for more refined and capable service assurance tools in increasingly complex cloud-based IT environments:

The environment, like a maze, grows endlessly. So it’s easy to go down a new path and get lost because you can’t see the whole structure of the maze from above. Even with all the management tools that accompany each new technology (e.g., virtualization and cloud resource managers), complexity makes it more challenging to see the whole structure in terms of how it is being used to deliver business services and how to accurately pinpoint the sources of service quality and availability without a lot of pain.

Hayward cites industry research that says 50 percent of service problems are reported by end users before IT staff know about them, and 79 percent of IT organizations' resources are devoted to finding and fixing service problems.

CA’s goal, he writes, is to provide tools that support what CA sees as a modern IT discipline—more complex IT organizations internally that are devoted to service quality monitoring.

Service Operations Management is like business service management on steroids. BSM was introduced a few years ago to define business services and to manage IT asset configurations according to policies that prevent willy-nilly configuration changes to adversely affect services. SOM integrates with change management processes and provides broader, more dynamic, real-time discovery and management of services than older BSM tools and processes.

Hayward’s examples of how IT organizations can benefit from this new process and supporting tools include a nationwide retailer regularly experiencing outages in its distribution system that was able to ferret out the causes of failure, and a financial services company that was able to dramatically reduce the number of people it took (and the time they spent) responding to and fixing IT issues.


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