Dueling grid groups agree to merge

Global Grid Forum and Enterprise Grid Alliance merge to promote grid computing

The Global Grid Forum and the Enterprise Grid Alliance have agreed to merge, combining two groups that have sometimes been at odds despite their similar goals to promote grid computing.

The groups signed a nonbinding merger agreement on Feb. 6, the Global Grid Forum said on its Web site. Representatives from both sides are developing a detailed merger plan and hope to establish a new organization by about the middle of this year.

The Global Grid Forum is the older group and has produced several standards for grid computing, including the Open Grid Services Architecture. Its roughly 400 member organizations include vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM, as well as many research institutes and universities.

TheĀ Enterprise Grid Alliance was formed more recently by Oracle, EMC, and other vendors to promote grid standards specifically for the enterprise. Some of its members complained initially that the Global Grid Forum was too focused on scientific computing and didn't move fast enough to meet the needs of businesses.

A few big players never signed on, however, including IBM, Microsoft, and BEA Systems. IBM said enough standards groups exist already to push grid computing forward.

The groups now say they can achieve more by combining their respective strengths. They plan to name a new leadership, including members of both groups, later in the year. They said the merger won't disrupt their scheduled activities.

The combined grid group still won't be the only one in town. A handful of vendors formed the Globus Consortium early last year to steer development of an open-source software package called the Globus Toolkit, which in turn was created by another group called the Globus Alliance.

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