Open Grid Forum unveils its new mission, board

United standards group pledges to work to accelerate grid adoption

The Open Grid Forum (OGF) standards body has officially opened for business, delivering on its commitment made back in June to detail its aims and organizational setup to coincide with the start of the GridWorld conference taking place this week in Washington, D.C.

The OGF Monday defined its mission "to accelerate grid adoption to ensure business value and scientific discovery," according to a release. With that in mind, the group will focus its efforts on two key areas over the coming 12 to 18 months -- serving as a forum for exchanging views on grid technology and helping push forward much needed work on grid software interoperability.

The OGF plans to release a white paper in January 2007 to lay out the case for grid technology adoption within IT systems and has already set up a new committee to work on developing a technical strategy and road map around grid software interoperability. An initial road map should appear in the first quarter of next year after consultation with grid end-users and IT vendors.

The OGF was formed when the Global Grid Forum (GGF) and the Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA) decided to merge. The two groups first announced plans to unify their efforts in February and officially took the plunge to become a single group, the OGF, in June. At that time, they said the week of Sept. 11 would mark the OGF's official "coming-out party."

In the past, despite focusing on different constituencies, with the GGF more closely aligned with the grid needs of IT vendors and the EGA with the requirements of enterprise users, the two groups sometimes appeared at odds with each other. This seeming conflict gave rise to speculation that a single organization might better serve everyone's needs.

In organizational terms, the OGF has set up a 15-strong board. Members of the board include executives from EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems.

Heading up operations for the standards body is Mark Linesch as president, the former chairman of GGF. Alongside Linesch are seven vice presidents, with areas of focus including the enterprise, e-science, standards and two regional functions for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia.

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