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IBM, Grid Computing Groups To Unveil Grid Services Protocols

Continuing to aggressively push the development of Grid technology, IBM announced this week that the company and two leading Grid computing organizations will soon deliver new specifications for common protocols for Grid computing.

IBM Server Group senior vice president William Zeitler told a LinuxWorld audience in New York that Big Blue was working with the Global Grid Forum, a broad-based organization working to establish Grid standards, and the Globus Project to expand Grid technology beyond the scientific and academic worlds to support business applications.

"We are leaving the era of the proprietary platform and entering the era of the open platform - of the Web, of Linux and ultimately, of Grid computing," Zeitler said.

IBM already has deployed Linux in some of the Grids it is building. A teragrid at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the National Science Foundation, for example, is comprised of Linux supercomputing clusters.

"The open protocols you need to support scientific kinds of workloads over a grid, and those you need to deliver commercial distributed computing with the qualities of support required by businesses, such as reliability and availability, among others, are very similar," Zeitler said.

In 1999, IBM's Jeff Nick realized that IBM and the Globus Project, the organization that created the Globus Toolkit, a de facto standard for Grid computing, were working on many of the same problems. Nick contacted Globus' Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman to engage in collaboration, according to Zeitler. "As a result, the next version of the grid paper, called Open Grid Services Architecture, to be released soon, is authored by Ian Foster, Carl Kesselman, Steven Tuecke - and Jeff Nick," Zeitler said. The first paper was titled "Anatomy of the Grid." The new paper, "The Physiology of the Grid," will be available soon at www.globus.org/research/papers/ogsa.pdf.

"Together with the Global Grid Forum and with Globus ... we expect to release a new set of specifications for common protocols that will help deliver the kinds of support businesses need in order to operate over the Grid," Zeitler said.