Merged grid computing group launched

New body combines old Global Grid Forum and Enterprise Grid Alliance

The Open Grid Forum (OGF) standards body has officially opened for business, delivering on its commitment made in June to detail its aims and organisational set-up to coincide with the start of the GridWorld conference, held in Washington DC last week.

At the conference, the OGF defined its mission as “to accelerate grid adoption to ensure business value and scientific discovery”. With that in mind, the group will focus its efforts on two key areas over the coming 12-18 months — serving as a forum for exchanging views on grid technology and helping push forward much needed work on grid software interoperability.

The OGF plans to release a White Paper in January, which will lay out the case for grid technology adoption within IT systems. It has already set up a new committee to work on developing a technical strategy and roadmap around grid software interoperability. An initial roadmap is scheduled to appear in the first quarter of next year, after consultation with grid end-users and IT vendors.

The OGF was formed when the Global Grid Forum (GGF) and the Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA) decided to merge. The two groups first announced plans to unify their efforts in February and officially took the plunge to become a single group, the OGF, in June. At that time, they said the second week of September would mark the OGF’s official “coming-out party”.

In the past, despite focusing on different constituencies (the GGF was more closely aligned with the grid needs of IT vendors and the EGA with the requirements of enterprise users), the two groups sometimes appeared at odds with each other. This seeming conflict gave rise to speculation that a single organisation might better serve the needs of the wider grid computing community.

The OGF has set up a 15-strong board. Members of the board include executives from EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Sun Microsystems.

Heading up operations for the standards body is president Mark Linesch, the former chairman of the GGF. Alongside Linesch are seven vice presidents, with areas of focus including e-science and standards.

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