Group targets enterprise grids

Some of the biggest names in technology have formed a consortium to quickly move grid computing from its current focus in scientific and technical markets into the enterprise.

The Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA) will focus on developing near-term interoperable solutions to accelerate the use of grid computing in all types of enterprises and, eventually, provide a way for those organizations to work more closely with one another.

"For the first phase, during the first year, we'll focus on those core commercial enterprise applications that are relevant to virtually every enterprise," said Donald Deutsch, president of EGA and vice president, standards strategy and architecture at Oracle Corp.

The intention is to look at standards and specifications needed to promote grid computing for enterprise data centers, and to foster cooperation among data centers to enable such things as load balancing. In addition to Oracle, other founding members of the alliance include Sun Microsystems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Development Co. LLP, Intel Corp., NEC Computers Inc., Network Appliance Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Siemens Corp. and EMC Corp. The group has a total of 20 corporate members.

After the first phase of work, the alliance will look at areas such as how to better use excess computing capacity in grid networks and what's needed for Web service calls among applications, Deutsch said. The third phase of work, about 18 months or more in the future, will address the needs for grid computing among enterprises and what's required to make computing as a utility a reality, he said. The alliance will not necessarily develop everything that's needed from scratch, opting to liberally adopt what it can from other organizations that are also working on standards and specifications that impact its goals. EGA's technical products will be available on a royalty-free basis, Deutsch said.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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