Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cassatt cloud innovation added to CA muscle

For those who have been watching and wondering what's next for Cassatt, the wait is over. CA announced today that they are the new home for much of what Cassatt has to offer: technology assets, patents, and a very significant chunk of the employees.

After the dire situation that Quentin Hardy wrote about in Forbes back in April, this is certainly a win for Cassatt and those with vested interest in seeing its ideas -- often described as both innovative and too far ahead of the market for its own good -- find a backer.

Here are a couple relevant excerpts from the CA-Cassatt press release:

CA Acquires Cassatt Data Center Automation Innovation and Expertise:
Acquisition Enables Dramatic Expansion of CA’s Automation and Cloud Capabilities

ISLANDIA, N.Y. and SAN JOSE, CA, June 2, 2009 -- CA, Inc. (NASDAQ:CA) today announced the acquisition of certain data center automation and policy-based optimization expertise and assets from Cassatt Corporation, a provider of innovative cloud computing software that makes data centers more efficient. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Some comments from Ajei Gopal, executive vice president of the Products and Technology Group at CA:

"This acquisition strengthens CA's ability to deliver on the promise of Lean IT for our customers. With the addition of Cassatt's engineering team and advanced data center automation assets, CA will accelerate its development of software that helps customers make more intelligent, business policy-based decisions. We are ensuring that CA will continue to be at the forefront of managing our customers’ evolving IT environments."

And some comments from Cassatt's chairman and CEO, Bill Coleman:

"Cassatt has long been a champion for using a cloud-style architecture to manage data centers like a 'compute utility.' This is a great move for both organizations because of the vision we share -- delivering a new, dramatically more efficient way to run data centers. The acquisition of Cassatt's data center automation technology and expertise by CA, one of the world's largest and most successful software companies and an innovator in business-driven automation, will help make this vision into a reality for customers."

And, finally, from Donald Ferguson, CA's Chief Architect:

"Cassatt invented an elegant and innovative architecture and algorithms for data center performance optimization. Incorporating Cassatt's analysis and optimization capabilities into CA's world-class business-driven automation solution will enable cloud-style computing to reliably drive efficiencies in both on-premises, private data centers and off-premises, utility data centers. We believe the result will be a uniquely comprehensive infrastructure management approach, spanning monitoring, analysis, planning, optimization and execution."

As I look at CA's infrastructure management portfolio as a (now former) outsider, I see a lot of product breadth in something near and dear to the hearts of those of us from Cassatt: data center efficiency. This deal combines CA's already broad product set and its formidable execution capabilities with some new data center optimization, cloud computing, and automation expertise from Cassatt. That seems like good news to me, especially since one of the dings against Cassatt has always been that infrastructure management is pretty difficult to entrust to a small vendor.

Neither Cassatt nor CA are going to have much more comment on today's announcement beyond the official press release. Don't take that as negative. We're spending our time and effort (starting today) to bring it all together in a way that will make sense for everyone involved. We'll share those details when we have them.

One piece of bittersweet news is that while Cassatt CEO Bill Coleman has been the face and personality behind Cassatt since its beginnings in 2003 (including a starring role as a Forbes cover boy in September 2006), he won't be coming with us to CA. I'd like to personally thank Bill for his vision and passion, and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the story at Cassatt. I like to think that even though we didn't achieve the massive customer adoption we were hoping for, we did have a significant impact on the industry discussions about how to run and manage a data center, about utility computing, and about what has come to be known as cloud computing.

Along the way, we at Cassatt have all tried hard to make sure we're part of a real, on-going conversation with the industry and with end users. The name of this blog is just one reflection of that. Many things will likely change for us Cassatt folks as a result of the CA deal, but I for one am confident that we'll keep the dialog going. Stay tuned.

You can continue to follow Jay Fry on Twitter as @jayfry3.

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