Grid standards groups to merge

The planned single body will be more effectively promote the grid computing cause, analysts say. By Patrick Thibodeau

The Global Grid Forum, a grid standards organisation, is merging with industry group the Enterprise Grid Alliance.

The Global Grid Forum (GGF) was founded in 1989 and includes many members from academia, as well as developers and vendors, while the Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA) was formed in 2004 by EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Network Appliance, Oracle and Sun Microsystems, among others, with the goal of developing standards and specifications designed to make it easier to deploy vendor products in a grid environment.

The two groups issued a statement on February 14 that says, “With a common interest in accelerating the pervasive adoption of grids worldwide, the EGA and GGF are well aligned to join together. Today, we signed a letter of intent to merge and are now entering into the transition phase, which is expected to result in a definitive merger in the [northern] summer of 2006.”

The merger will have little direct impact on users, at least in the short term, says one analyst.

“None of this stuff is going to change things for users in the next 12 months,” says Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research.

The merger, he says, will be a success if the new group can come up with ways for making various systems work together in a grid.

Areas where standards are needed include workload distribution and management interfaces, he says.

Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata, says the two groups were working at cross-purposes.

“A lot of energy was being diffused and burned up in the process,” he says.

The “father of grid computing”, New Zealand-born Ian Foster, is a member of the GGF.

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