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IT Heavies Throw Weight Behind Globus

Some of the top tech names are launching a new industry group dedicated to commercial use of the open-source Globus Toolkit, the de facto standard for grid computing.

HP, IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems announced the formation of the Globus Consortium on Monday. HP, IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems are Sponsor Members of the Globus Consortium, and Nortel Networks and Univa are Contributor Members.

Univa was launched last month by Globus co-founders Ian Foster, Steve Tuecke and Carl Kesselman to provide commercial support for Globus software.

The new consortium's technology roadmap will be guided by the charter members, along with board members Foster and Tuecke, who led the original team that developed the Globus Toolkit at Argonne National Labs a decade ago.

HP, Intel and Sun are also members of the Oracle-led Enterprise Grid Alliance, a commercial grid effort that has been notable in part for the absence of big names like IBM and Platform Computing, the top private grid company.

"As with EGA, Platform will not be involved at the outset," Platform told Grid Computing Planet in a statement. "However, we continue to drive standards with Globus and also to be heavily involved in GGF."

The Globus Consortium said it is not a standards body, and plans to work with existing grid standards bodies such as the Global Grid Forum (GGF) "to further drive implementation of standards that best support enterprise Grid implementations."

"The purpose of the consortium is not to make Globus a de facto standard, but rather to further the adoption of standards by sponsoring work on the Globus Toolkit open source implementations of standards," Foster told Grid Computing Planet. "As such, work sponsored by the consortium should complement work within EGA and GGF on identifying requirements and standards, respectively, for enterprise grid."

"The GGF and Globus communities continue to build on our historically close relationship," stated HP's Mark Linesch, chair of the GGF. "With the launch of the Globus Consortium, we are excited to have additional support in driving the implementation and standards that have been created within the GGF. Working together, we can accelerate efforts toward standardization and the pervasive adoption of grid solutions for research and industry."

The new consortium, with funding and engineering support from its member companies, will focus on providing resources and direction on the technology roadmap for the Globus Toolkit. It will define specifications and requirements for the Globus Toolkit, fund code contributions, and lead efforts on open standards for industry grid standards organizations.

"Businesses are adopting grid computing at a quickening pace, and we believe the Globus Toolkit helps accelerate that adoption," stated Ken King, IBM's vice president of Grid computing. "IBM has been a long-time supporter of the Globus Toolkit, which we believe is a valuable asset in helping drive open standards for grid and distributed computing. As such, we intend to work with the Globus Consortium to increase the value that Globus brings to the business enterprise."

The consortium will be headed by IT industry veteran Greg Nawrocki, who will serve as president and oversee day-to-day operations and the promotion of the consortium within the industry. Nawrocki previously worked at Argonne, where he coordinated Globus Toolkit-based application projects and organized the GlobusWORLD conference.

The Globus Consortium Web site can be found at www.globusconsortium.com.

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