CA Takes 'Intelligent' Approach to Assets

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Officials at Computer Associates have announced the launch of a new asset management tool designed to provide information on the hardware and software used throughout the enterprise.

Unicenter Asset Intelligence r11 is an add-on to Unicenter Asset Management r11 (you need the latter to run the former), which identifies hardware and software on the corporate network, as well as the patches/versions in place, and consolidates them under one view.

Ron Exler, an analyst at research firm Robert Frances Group, said that while there are cost savings to be had for companies that install an asset management product, it tends to be an overlooked option.

"What we're finding is a lot of organizations are still not caught up in what they could be doing with regards to better managing their assets," Exler told internetnews.com.

Asset management software consolidates all the servers, desktops, mobile devices, operating systems and applications under one view, allowing IT managers to determine what version of a particular piece of software is running throughout the enterprise network, as well as what the company's servers are currently running.

Unicenter Asset Intelligence takes that information a step further and provides an executive-level view of the hardware and software used by a department or division geographically. Using the information, IT can determine whether there's unused or misused software in place and take steps to make the area more efficient.

For example, said Allan Andersen, CA's director of Unicenter product management, say that it's discovered the sales department is running a version of SQL Server Enterprise Edition in their department. That software, he said, is suited for data centers, not departments.

In another case, a group might need to determine whether there are any company Web servers running in Germany. With a quick look at the asset intelligence software, Andersen said, the IT manager can immediately find out and then allocate any unused processing power on that server for the request.

Without Asset Intelligence, it's very hard to determine what software is getting used where and if IT is using its resources wisely, Andersen said.

"IT is very costly; it's one of the biggest expenditures for companies today," he said. "They spend a lot on hardware and software and they don't always manage it very well. They often over-purchase things or under-utilize systems, and they couldn't tell you which ones were under-utilized or over-purchased, because they don't have the insight into their environments."

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