Top vendors form Enterprise Grid Alliance
- By John K. Waters
A group of leading enterprise software, hardware and services vendors have announced the formation of The Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA), a new industry consortium created to speed the adoption of grid computing.
Grid computing connects pools of computers, storage and networks, enabling enterprises to dynamically allocate resources based on changing business needs.
The group's initial board includes Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Fujitsu, NEC, EMC, Siemens Computers and Network Appliance. The other founding members are AMD, Novell, Ascential Software, Cassatt, Citrix, Data Synapse, Enigmatec, Force 10 Networks, Optena, Paremus and Topspin.
Notably absent from the list are Microsoft and IBM. Microsoft was unavailable for comment, but an IBM spokesperson said that the company was invited to join and is considering the pros and cons of membership. IBM has widely promoted grid as part of its "on-demand" computing initiative.
The EGA describes itself as an "open, independent and vendor-neutral community addressing the near-term requirements for deploying commercial applications in a grid environment." According to Donald Deutsch, the EGA's new president, the group does not want to function as a traditional standards body. Instead, it plans to drive grid adoption by promoting best practices, expediting near-term requirements for deploying commercial applications in grid environments, and even generating solutions.
"Although grid computing is already well-established in the academic, research and technical sectors, it has yet to gain significant traction throughout the enterprise," said Deutsch, who also servers as VP of standards strategy and architecture at Oracle. "In close coordination, the members of the EGA will create open, interoperable enterprise grid computing solutions and increase the adoption of enterprise grid computing."
Initially, the group plans to focus on issues surrounding reference models, provisioning, security and accounting. By focusing exclusively on the needs of enterprise users, the group said in a release, the EGA "will enable businesses to realize the many benefits of grid computing such as faster response to changing business needs, better utilization and service level performance, and lower IT operating costs."
Coincident with the birth of the EGA was a new report published by industry analysts at IDC entitled "Role of Grid Computing in the Coming Innovation Wave." The study concludes that grid computing is on the verge of a surge, with the potential to generate revenues approaching $12 billion by 2007.
"We believe that grids hold significant potential as the next step in the evolution of the IT environment," writes IDC research manager John Humphreys, "especially as the technology breaks out from the HPC space and becomes more broadly applied in commercial data centers. We expect grid adoption to take root next in the generalized IT infrastructure and to see early adoption begin in areas that are not mission-critical."
Membership in the EGA is open to all organizations for an annual fee. More information
is available at http://www.gridalliance.org.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached