CA has acquired Oblicore, a maker of service-level management technology that could enable the develop of a new range of cloud computing management.

The company, which also acquired Cassatt and NetQoS in 2009, kicked off 2010 with a purchase that could help the vendor extends its existing management capabilities into cloud computing environments. Oblicore, known for its service-level management technology, could help CA provide customers with visibility into IT services into cloud computing environments, CA said.

"Oblicore's business-centric approach gives enterprises and service providers better understanding and control over the quality and value of their IT service portfolio," said Ajei Gopal, executive vice president of CA's Products and Technology Group. "With Oblicore and the recent acquisitions of NetQoS and Cassatt, CA is leaping ahead in our ability to help customers optimise IT for better business results and capitalise on the emerging cloud computing opportunity."

Oblicore partnered with CA and the two vendors integrated Oblicore technology with CA Spectrum Infrastructure Manager, CA Service Desk Manager, CA Wily Introscope, CA eHealth and CA Clarity PPM. The addition of Oblicore's service-level management to CA's management software suite could help CA deliver on technology areas that industry watchers consider key in the era of cloud computing, including IT service assurance and IT service catalogues.

The first category isn't new, but it is something CA along with competitors BMC, HP, IBM and EMC are discussing more now that customers are looking to potentially adopt cloud computing in 2010.

"One need is to have a true end-to-end picture, which means having comprehensive visibility and control into the quality of experiences for the end user and the quality of service," says Evelyn Hubbert, a senior analyst with Forrester Research. "This means we need to see how traffic flows across the network, systems, applications and databases, which all are participating in the services. IT organisations realise they need to manage the services rather than the infrastructure."

And IT service catalogue tools will help customers using cloud services. Analysts say the trend toward putting available IT services into an easily digestible Web-based IT service catalogue will explode in 2010 as IT organizations streamline processes and better align their efforts with business demands.

"Service catalogues are very useful, but with cloud adoption, they become fundamental," says Andi Mann, research director at Enterprise Management Associates. "IT organizations realise they must be able to communicate to end users what they are allowed to get and at what frequency and in some cases for how much. It is hard to imagine broad cloud computing adoption without an IT service catalogue."