GRIDWORLD - Open Grid Forum unveils its new mission, board

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

The OGF Monday defined its mission as "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 that lays out the case for grid technology adoption within IT systems, and already has set up a committee to work on developing a technical strategy and road map for 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 groups first announced plans to unify their efforts in February, and in June officially became the OGF. 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 (the GGF was more closely aligned with the needs of IT vendors, and the EGA with the requirements of enterprise users), the groups sometimes appeared at odds. This seeming conflict gave rise to speculation that a single organization might serve everyone's needs better.

The OGF has set up a board with 15 members, including executives from EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Sun.

Heading up operations for the standards body is President Mark Linesch, formerly chairman of the GGF. Alongside Linesch are seven vice presidents, whose 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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