There's no question that cloud-computing infrastructures will become a significant part the IT plans of large corporations, according to \n\nanalysts. The question, at least right now, is how well those hybrid internal\/external infrastructures will be managed. Virtualization Definition and SolutionsCA's announcement this morning that it has integrated its core data-center management suite to Amazon's EC2 cloud service \n\ndoesn't shed much new light on that question, according to some analysts. "The core value of having a cloud in the mix would be the ability to move elements easily from inside [the data center] to outside [based in the \n\ncloud], taking advantage of the scale the cloud can provide where you need it," according to James Staten, data-center analyst for Forrester Research. "That's \n\nnot what's going on here."What CA has done is modify its existing enterprise management suites \u2014 the Business-Driven Automation, Service Management, \n\nApplication Performance Management and Database Management elements \u2014 to run within and report on applications and hardware \n\nwithin Amazon's EC2.That gives Amazon EC2 customers access to CA management capabilities to monitor performance of specific services or applications, do \n\nroot-cause analysis on problems, and automate business processes that run using applications within EC2, according to Stephen Elliott, vice president of strategy, infrastructure management and automation at CA.The goal is to help EC2 customers increase the efficiency and lower the cost of workloads they port into the cloud, as well as improve security \n\nand remove bottlenecks as, or even before, they occur, Elliott says. It's not the holy grail of cloud management, and doesn't provide any real new technical capabilities other than to extend data-center visibility \n\ninto the cloud, but it is exactly the kind of ability existing CA customers are looking for, Staten says. "They're claiming you can manage in-house and cloud instances from the same screen and manage them both, which could just mean it's \n\ncentralized monitoring and reporting, which isn't that hard to do," Staten says. "Amazon has exposed their APIs so everyone can take advantage \n\nof that, but it appears that's as far as the relationship goes. There's no special relationship or secret sauce, so it compares pretty evenly with what \n\nBMC and others are doing.The real holy grail, at least as far as visibility within a cloud infrastructure, is RightScale, Staten says. RightScale's management suite \n\nis designed to give customers full visibility and control over their applications and data on several cloud platforms, not just one, according to the \n\ncompany. It includes resource reports and migration functions designed to help customers identify the best set of development languages, software, data \n\nstorage and provider for specific workloads, and select a cloud provider based on those and other factors, such as cost and geographic location, \n\naccording to the company. It also includes lifecycle management, automation of provisioning and changes in scale and other critical controls, but lacks detailed integration \n\nand data-sharing with internal management applications, Staten says. Rival data-center management vendor BMC announced in July it \n\nhad modified its suite of management products to give customers better visibility and control over applications and data living on Amazon's EC2. \n\nLike BMC, CA is promising its integration will allow customers to set and monitor service levels, create policies that will trigger complex \n\nbusiness-process responses to specific situations and control both costs and security by providing better reporting and control over virtual servers, \n\ndata and applications based in the cloud. Just having those capabilities available within the cloud is a significant benefit, according to Rich Mogull, a former Gartner analyst who now \n\nruns the Securosis, L.L.C security consultancy.Earlier this month both CA and Novell demonstrated identity management products tweaked to be able to provide better security to both cloud- and SaaS-based \n\napplications. That, plus the integration of core data-center management products into Amazon's high-profile EC2 are early signs of the maturation of \n\ncloud-based services, which will take as long as seven years to mature \n\ninto fully reliable data-center-quality resources, according to a recent report from Gartner. Among the top requirements of customers, aside from the ability to link existing management applications to cloud infrastructures, is the ability \n\nto no rely on a single vendor or cloud provider for a specific function, another Gartner report says. Real maturity in cloud computing will include not only standards that will enable customers to move data or applications from one cloud service \n\nto another, but also independent brokers that would allow customers to choose the best resources from among a variety of specialized-function \n\nproviders, the report says. Gartner predicts the cloud-computing market will grow at \n\nmore than 20% per year, from $46.4 billion in 2008 to $150.1 billion in 2013. Business processes \u2014 which made up 83% of that market in \n\n2008, will continue to make up its bulk. The most common cloud-based functions currently are advertising, e-commerce, human resources and \n\npayment processing applications, Gartner says."Really savvy developers can do just fine with EC2 the way it is, but sophisticated enterprise customers want more management capabilities to \n\nbe built in," Staten says. "This truly does provide a real opportunity for CA and BMC and other vendors that glom on to it, though."