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Go Big: CA World 2013 Opening Keynote

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Continuing our tradition of on the spot conference reporting, here are the raw notes from CA World 2013’s opening keynote. CA World is focused on products, techniques, and technologies in the areas of SaaS, Mobile, DevOps, and Big Data. The first keynote is led by Mike Gregoire, CA Technologies new CEO. Here are some key numbers for CA Technologies:

  • 6,000 engineers
  • 600 million a year spent on R&D
  • 14,000 employees

The Changing Role of the CIO and IT Department

Estimates that there are going to be 50 Billion Devices connected to the Internet by 2020. All of these devices will be generating tremendous amounts of data.

In 2012 it is estimated that 7.9 zettabytes of data was created. (One zettabyte is roughly 250 billion DVDs.) At the current rate that will jump to 35 zetabytes per year by 2020.

The role of the CIO is changing. Employees inside the company are finding that their tools are inadequate. Rather than working with the IT department, they are bypassing it. They are going out and buying Salesforce or Amazon AWS using the corporate credit card. And IT isn’t finding out about it until audits occur long after the technologies are firmly established in the company.

In the future the role of the CIO is technology broker. Rather than being the master of all systems, the CIO needs to work with the users to deliver the right technology, even if that means buying infrastructure, platform, or software as a service,

Better Testing for Faster Application Delivery

Over 90% of all testing is done manually. And the bulk of this testing is done without performance metrics. A big emphasis for CA Technologies is the ability to simulate networks and services. This way you can see how the application performs when the user’s network has limited bandwidth or the servers are under heavy loads. The key products in this area are CA Lisa Service Virtualization and CA Application Performance Managements. CA APM gathers production metrics for everything from the browser to the server and everything in between, including CDNs, routers, and firewalls. This data is then fed into CA Lisa Service Virtualization.


The next area of emphasis is mobility, especially in the terms of mobile device management and security. According to CA Technologies’ surveys, less than 10% of companies believe that they control the information being put onto mobile devices. Employees are increasingly using services such as DropBox, Sugarsync, or Evernote; technologies that the company doesn’t control. And it only takes one rogue device to leak critical corporate information.

Already CA Technologies has the ability to “procure VPN connections, email, applications, and security”. In the next 12 to 18 months they intend to add the ability to manage the devices themselves.

More on this topic in tomorrow’s keynote.

Another area CA Technologies is expanding into is mobile reporting. Using a product known as Executive Insight, they are able to bring together information from their Application Performance Management suite of tools. From a transactional standpoint, these tools monitor everything that happens in the company.

Software as a Service

Over the next year it is expected that 25% of all application spending will be in SaaS. To CA Technologies SaaS doesn’t necessarily mean “public cloud”. They are embracing the philosophy of the SaaS development and business model, but with the ability for companies to run the CA Platform on private clouds. These private clouds can hosted directly by CA Technologies, their partners, or the company themselves.

The philosophy of SaaS is continuous delivery. CA Technologies is trying to get away from the culture of orphaned releases, where customers find themselves suck on old versions of the products.

Big Data

Big Data by itself is useless. Good analytics are essential to turn all of that data into information that can be acted upon. Securing that data is also important, as compliance rules become increasingly strict.

Here are some key daily figures from one of CA’s customers:

  • 600 million mainframe records
  • 380 million financial transactions
  • 42 million authentications
  • 100 thousands devices monitored

I would like to stress that this is per day. That means they are averaging over 6,900 new records per second. (And given that most financial transactions occur between 9 am and 9 pm, the peak rate could easily be more than twice that.)

One of CA Technologies’ goals is to perform analytics on this in real time. They want the ability to do things like detect when a credit card is being used in two different places at once, a clear indicator that one of the two purchases may be fraudulent. Right now this is usually done off-line so that potential fraud isn’t detected for hours or even days after the purchase.

Ending Notes

The more important thing CA Technologies and their partners need to do is get companies to stop using old releases. All of the investment in new and innovative technologies means nothing if the customer is stuck on an old version.

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