CA, formerly known as Computer Associates, today signed a definitive agreement to acquire systems management and services company Wily Technology for $375 million in cash.
The purchase of Brisbane, Calif.-based Wily marks the second recent acquisition of application management firms by a large systems vendor. IBM recently picked up application monitoring firm Collation to bolster its Tivoli line.
Application management software has caught the attention of many IT pros of late. Software that automatically monitors and displays the relationships between complex applications and their supporting components is quickly becoming a must-have function for IT managers.
So what does CA get for its $375 million?
"They get a very good J2EE application manager, which they didn't have, and a nice bunch of customers for their salesforce to sell to," said Jasmine Noel, analyst with New York-based Ptak, Noel & Associates.
According to Noel, a lot of IT pros are faced with managing J2EE applications, which are different from traditional single-server, monolithic apps. Traditional management tools, such as CA's Unicenter product can let you know if a server is up or down, but it won't take the next step into the application tiers.
"Web app management is difficult to solve because the programs are often built across multiple tiers with several interrelated components, which may or may not work together. You've got all of these complex relationships," Noel said. "Wily traces the transactions as they flow through the infrastructure mess.
According to Noel, existing Wily customers should be happy with the acquisition because CA will be pushing to expand the scope of the software.
Noel said Wily was in need of basic configuration management capabilities and planned to build them into the product over the next 12-18 months. But CA had already spent considerable effort on making its Management Database (MDB), a repository for system and application configuration data.
Noel said Wily customers can expect tight integration between the MDB and Wily monitoring and analysis capabilities. And according to Noel, CA customers should be happy to get one-stop shopping for an application management tool.
"I think CA is one of the better turnaround stories. It looks like they're well on their way to reinventing themselves," Noel said.
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