Consider this riddle: How can VARs and MSPs monitor -- and enforce -- their service level agreements (SLAs) with cloud service providers? CA Technologies may have solved that riddle by acquiring WatchMouse today. The CA-WatchMouse deal also shows how CA is targeting acquisitions that bolster multiple CA divisions and products -- including Nimsoft and CA Application Performance Management (APM).

First, let's focus on one of the greatest challenges facing today's VARs and MSPs -- especially smaller channel partners that compete in the SMB market. Many of those VARs and MSPs are signing up to resell cloud storage services, cloud security services, SaaS applications and more. From what I've seen, many of those cloud service providers (CSPs) typically offer basic SLAs offering 99.5% to 99.9% uptime.

But it's often difficult for VARs and MSPs to really monitor those SLAs. And it's even more difficult for those channel partners to hold cloud service providers accountable when SLAs aren't met.

That's where CA"s buyout of WatchMouse enters the picture. WatchMouse claims to have roughly 60 monitoring stations in more than 40 countries worldwide. Channel partners, in turn, can use WatchMouse's SaaS monitoring service to see if cloud service providers are meeting their SLAs. At least that's the spin from CA and WatchMouse. Assuming the CA-WatchMouse solution works as advertise, I'm really intrigued.

Meanwhile, CA is proving that it knows how to make complementary acquisitions. The WatchMouse acquisition potentially benefits CA's Nimsoft and APM businesses. Indeed, WatchMouse will be available as an add-on for Nimsoft's managed service provider (MSP) partners. And WatchMouse will also plug into CA's Application Performance Management (APM).

On paper, it sounds like CA carefully considered the WatchMouse deal -- for both partners and customers. MSPmentor will be watching to see if CA executes on the WatchMouse strategy.

And we'll also be watching the market for more solutions that allow MSPs to monitor and enforce SLAs with cloud service providers.