CA users take advantage of Linux adoption

Users of Computer Associates International's management products are taking advantage of the company's embrace of the Linux...

Users of Computer Associates International's management products are taking advantage of the company's embrace of the Linux operating system.

This week, at the CA World 2003 user event, the company has promoted its focus on open-source technology and even sponsored a Linux forum to highlight the work it has been doing in the field.

Sam Greenblatt, senior vice-president and chief architect for CA's Linux Technology Group, reaffirmed the the company's commitment to help "enable Linux to grow", citing efforts to develop Linux-based clustering technology, web services and storage.

Among the customers exploiting CA's push is Nyfix, a provider of financial services, which is migrating its 400-strong portfolio of Sun Solaris servers over to Linux - and will need CA to handle the management of those machines.

Nyfix is already running some of its CA Unicenter software on Linux, including a tool that handles asset management, said Greg Petras, a systems analyst at Nyfix.

The company expected the migration, which will take a couple of years to complete, to save it hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Petras said, not only is it hardware-platform-independent, but the open-source community in general is more forthright in explaining technical glitches. He added that his IT staff already have Unix skills that can be easily transferred to Linux.

At the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, CA's support for Linux could provide an alternative to the organisation's existing server installation, said chief technology officer Rick Minicucci.

The centre, which acts as a clearing house for information, uses Unicenter for managing its website and also relies on CA's Ingres relational database.

Sun Microsystems has allowed the agency to use its servers for free, "but if that ends, we can't afford to do that ourselves, and Linux would be the only alternative", Minicucci said.

The Indiana Supreme Court's IT standardisation project relies on CA software and services and is is about to build it around Linux servers, said Kurt Snyder, director of trial court technology at the court.

While it originally planned to build the project around Sun servers, it has decided to instead go with a Dell Computer/Linux solution for both cost and performance improvements. But it would require additional testing to get the same contractual performance guarantee from CA on Linux, he said.

Marc L Songini writes for Computerworld

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