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CA and NetApp have announced an extension of their existing partnership, integrating CA’s virtualization, automation and service assurance offerings with NetApp’s storage management solutions. The integrated offerings are intended to help customers improve business agility, productivity and service quality, while also helping to lower costs and reduce risks that are associated with virtualization and cloud-based infrastructures, says Patrick Rogers, vice president of Solutions and Alliances for NetApp.

"CA recognizes that we have some pretty unique capabilities." There’s also real value from a reseller perspective, he adds. "They can choose best-of-breed solutions and then have a management capability that ties it all together." That’s really important going forward for clouds, says Rogers.

The companies’ current efforts include integrating CA Spectrum Automation Manager with NetApp Provisioning Manager to enable customers to automate their cloud infrastructure end-to-end, streamline the provisioning process for faster deployment times and support improved utilization of critical resources, and allow the storage to be automated alongside the server, network and applications in an orchestrated fashion. Future plans include integrating CA Spectrum Service Assurance with the NetApp SANscreen suite to extend the CA solution’s business service modeling capability into the storage domain and provide users with new insight into how storage status impacts specific business services or puts them at risk.

CA also intends to extend its support for NetApp’s fault and performance management products through its CA Spectrum Infrastructure Manager and CA eHealth Performance Manager products. Initially, CA plans to integrate storage service violations and performance data from SANscreen to provide enhanced and expanded proactive performance monitoring with live analysis, performance dashboards and powerful reporting.

Rogers expects both companies to do more in tightly integrating their products. "CA’s been a partner of ours for years" and this next step brings together CA’s management automation capabilities with NetApp’s provisioning capabilities.

This is much more than a so-called ‘single pain of glass’ that may centralize everything, but still requires separate processes for different assets — i.e. storage, servers and networks, says Rogers.

"Customers want one solution", and true integration means they can manage their assets much more easily and quickly. The integrated solutions will be available to customers this Spring, he says. Both companies are prepping their joint partners for the products, including a specific partner portal, and partner academies for training.

This latest integration initiative reflects the biggest and most transformative trend that NetApp is seeing right now, customers looking to get more out of their IT investments. "The theme that has really resonated with our customers is efficiency."

It’s all about doing more with less, says Rogers. "Just because storage requirements are growing, doesn’t mean your raw storage has to grow." NetApp has been pushing storage efficiency through software and operating enhancements and that’s been a huge selling feature.

"It’s a new era: if you can’t deliver those kinds of efficiencies, customers are going to look elsewhere. That’s what we’ve invested in the last few quarters and it’s working very well right now."