Enterprise Tech Journal recently spoke with Debra Costello, principal platform engineer GIS for CA Technologies, and Craig Guess, senior principal product manager for CA Technologies, to discuss the IT environment at CA and how their organization not only develops CA Chorus but is also a user.
Enterprise Tech Journal: Can you talk a bit about the IT environment at CA Technologies?
Debra Costello: CA Technologies is a global software development and services organization. We employ about 14,000 people worldwide. Our IT organization manages six large development environments: Islandia, NY; Framingham, MA; Plano, TX; Prague, CZ; Ditton Park, UK; and Hyderabad, India.
We’re a typical, large 24/7 IT environment, supporting major applications such as SAP, Salesforce.com, Hyperion and many critical, internally developed, applications.
Enterprise Tech Journal: What kinds of applications do your various users consider the most critical?
Costello: We’re similar to many other IT organizations in a multibillion dollar company. Depending on what business user you ask, you will find competing priority applications. By far, our customers are a priority for us, so our internal/external email and customer support system are critical to ensure a high level of customer communication and satisfaction.
Our internal financial applications have key service level agreements. Our R&D organizations need the ability to build, test and innovate across a large swath of platforms. Behind the scenes, our FTP and Websites enable customers to rapidly access key information, knowledge modules and fixes. Internally, our service desk must “follow the sun” to support employees and customers continuously.
Enterprise Tech Journal: Can you give us a sense of the scope of the operation?
Costello: We run four System z complexes; the R&D system has a zEC12 running all supported levels of z/OS, z/VSE and z/VM. It also has a zBX BladeCenter attached running AIX, Linux and Windows. Our production ERP [enterprise resource planning] system is on a second System z, a third has legacy front-office and back-office, and a fourth is our disaster recovery system.
Critical systems run on System z and we support the entire organization globally 24/7, so the mainframe has to be available continuously. Our customers expect service regardless of failures and don’t like planned maintenance shutdowns, either. Like most organizations, the maintenance window really doesn’t exist anymore. When it’s midnight Sunday in Islandia, it’s 9 a.m. Monday in Hyderabad. So, we need to have a pulse on both data center and global operations at all times. CA Chorus Infrastructure Management for Networks and Systems helps us do just that. We can monitor several systems from a single workspace, but also bring in external data sources as well for a complete picture of all things that could affect critical system performance.
Enterprise Tech Journal: What kinds of service levels do you have to achieve for your customers?