Vendors Form Grid-Computing Alliance

The Enterprise Grid Alliance wants to make it easier for computer and storage systems from different vendors to work together in a grid.
Some business-technology managers think grid computing is the next evolutionary step in network computing and will provide better systems utilization and greater efficiency. But like any network, a grid of computers and other systems can only work well if customers can mix and match resources from multiple vendors.

A bunch of big-name technology vendors are trying to make that possible. Several of them on Tuesday unveiled the Enterprise Grid Alliance, whose board includes EMC, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, NEC, Network Appliance, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems. Other founding members are AMD, Ascential Software, Cassatt, Citrix, DataSynapse, Enigmatec, Force 10 Networks, Novell, Optena, Paremus, and Topspin Communications.

The group hopes to overcome obstacles to grid computing by highlighting best practices. They want to help customers obtain lower costs and better systems usage by making it easier for systems from multiple vendors to interoperate in a grid.

The alliance also wants to provide an open forum for hardware and software vendors, service providers, and business-technology executives, and plans to work with other groups and standards bodies to promote integrated grids and improved adoption rates.

An industry analyst thinks the alliance could help companies that want to develop a better understanding of on-demand computing, and says it also may be instrumental in developing a unified set of standards for grid computing. Says Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at IDC, "While other standards bodies are arguing over the grid architecture while flying at 100,000 feet, EGA seems to be at 10,000 feet in trying to make sure grid computing actually works for the end users."