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iSGTW Feature - Open Grid Forum maintains focus on the 2010 goal

Feature - Open Grid Forum maintains focus on the 2010 goal

Grids are about scaling IT, and community organizations such as Open Grid Forum are essential to guiding and managing this growth process, says John Ehrig, Open Grid Forum enterprise and marketing program manager.
Images courtesy of Open Grid Forum

Now involving more than 300 organizations from 50 countries, the Open Grid Forum community has gathered at this week's OGF21 to continue progress towards grids standards development.

Open Grid Forum Enterprise and Marketing Program Manager, John Ehrig, explains the goals and progress of this community-initiated not-for-profit organization.

Driven by accelerating globalization, organizations and individuals are being challenged to work in new ways-often across departments, disciplines and large geographical areas.

Technology silos that inhibit the flow of information, innovation and commerce are being broken apart and rebuilt to better serve this new business paradigm.

Grid and grid-like technologies-including virtualization, automation, service oriented architecture (SOA) and distributed computing-are all part of the IT infrastructure solution being used by leading organizations around the world to enable this knowledge-based, global economy.

Craig Lee, newly appointed OGF President, welcomes the grid community to OGF21 at the opening plenary session. His slide discusses newly identified Hot Topics.
Images courtesy of Open Grid Forum

Speaking a global grid language

These organizations are adopting grid solutions and achieving significant benefits even without having all the standards in place for interoperability.

Interoperability becomes more critical as organizations connect grids to other grids within their organizations, or with other organizations that utilize different grid platforms. For those grids to come together and interoperate, they need to speak the same language.

The Open Grid Forum is a standards development organization dedicated to developing open standards for grid interoperability. OGF serves as a global forum where the grid community gathers to identify common requirements, develop best practices and share use cases.

As a community-initiated not-for-profit organization, OGF involves more than 300 organizations from 50 countries. OGF has extensive engagement with national and regional grid initiatives in 25 countries, including TeraGrid and Open Science Grid in the U.S., EGEE in Europe, NAREGI in Japan, APAC in Australia, and UK eScience in the UK. Leading hardware, software, and solutions vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and Platform Computing are also actively engaged.

OGF-defined, standards-based grids

OGF aims to have scientific and commercial organizations build operational grids using OGF-defined, standards-based components by 2010. This work is well underway, however much more effort is needed to develop and mature specifications.

In June 2007, OGF published its roadmap document entitled, "Technical Strategy for the Open Grid Forum 2007-2010." The document provides the distributed computing community with a sense of the maturity of existing grid specifications and gaps. It identifies six high priority capabilities including grid security, application provisioning, job submission, file movement, data provisioning and grid application programming interfaces (APIs).

Bringing players from all arenas to the game

OGF recognizes that it takes cooperation and collaboration across the entire distributed computing community to effectively build open standards. For instance, many OGF standards are based on the foundational protocols, information, and web services standards developed by other standards development organizations, including W3C, IETF, SNIA, DMTF, and OASIS.

OGF proactively engages in liaison activities with these organizations and they, in turn, look to OGF as uniquely chartered to define interoperable grid architectures, specifications and community practices.

In addition, the vendor and open source community are the consumers of specifications and are key partners in their development. IT organizations, on behalf of the users they support, have a particularly critical role to play in encouraging vendors to deliver software based on standards and to provide software licensing models to support shared and service-oriented IT infrastructures.

Finally government plays an important role in helping to encourage standards, insure a level playing field for all stakeholders, and set appropriate policies for access and ongoing support of grid infrastructures that enhance scientific discovery and economic development within their country or region.

OGF also engages extensively with other grid-related organizations throughout the world to ensure that we align globally but also communicate and collaborate locally. OGF affiliates include Grid Consortium Japan, Grid Forum-Netherlands, Open Grid Forum-Korea, The Israeli Association of Grid Technologies, and Grid Forum-Singapore.

- John Ehrig, Open Grid Forum

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