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Alliance Formed to Boost Enterprise Grid Computing
By Paul Shread

April 20, 2004

What began as an idea by Oracle last September became reality today when 19 technology companies banded together to form an alliance focused on Grid computing in enterprises.

The Enterprise Grid Alliance (www.gridalliance.org) is an open, independent and vendor-neutral community formed to address the near-term requirements for deploying commercial applications in a Grid environment, according to Donald Deutsch, president of the new group and Oracle’s VP for standards strategy and architecture. The group’s initial focus will include reference models, provisioning, security and accounting.

Deutsch said the results of the group’s work will be available on a royalty-free basis.

EGA’s focus will be on “the data center, not the desktop,” Deutsch said, and on “trusted and secure” computing within and between enterprises, instead of global Grids and public and scientific projects.

The group has no intention of competing with established standards groups like the Global Grid Forum and the Distributed Management Task Force, Deutsch said, and will work with those other groups when possible. EGA’s goal is “time to market,” he said, and thus plans to use specifications from other groups that address enterprise Grid computing needs.

“Only in the absence of those requirements will EGA address its own specifications,” he said.

Deutsch played down any competition with the standards-setting Grid Forum, noting that EGA’s focus is a “very specific subset of GGF.”

The initial EGA board includes EMC, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, Intel, NEC, Network Appliance, Oracle and Sun Microsystems. Other founding members include AMD, Ascential Software, Cassatt, Citrix, Data Synapse, Enigmatec, Force 10 Networks, Novell, Optena, Paremus and Topspin.

Notably absent from the group is IBM, which sparked commercial interest in Grid computing when it made an aggressive move into the space in 2001, and Platform Computing, the largest Grid computing vendor.

Deutsch said EGA has invited a number of companies to join the alliance, and plans to continue recruitment efforts.

“Yes, we’ve been talking with IBM, yes, we’ve been talking with Microsoft, yes, we’ve been talking with SAP,” he said.

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