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April 20, 2004

Industry backs grid consortium launch

A cross section of 19 technology companies are supporting Oracle Corp in a group driving standards and specifications for business-friendly grid computing in enterprise software.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA), announced yesterday, will work to quickly resolve issues and remove inhibitors of adopting grid computing in enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and Business Intelligence (BI).

EGA will borrow specifications from other grid organizations and internet standards bodies, build its own specifications, and develop testing, interoperability and best practices in fairly short order – EGA is committed to delivering on this phase one of its work this year.

The organization’s first president, Oracle vice president for standards strategy and architecture, Don Deutsch, said yesterday: We’ll be highly biased to using results from other forums’ specifications. It’s about time to market. Where needed, EGA will develop specifications.

Backing Oracle yesterday were EMC Software, Fujitsu Siemens, Hewlett Packard, NEC, Network Appliance and Sun Microsystems. Deutsch said there had been talks with IBM, Microsoft and SAP who are invited to join.

EGA has three levels of membership. At the top are sponsors, paying $50,0000 annually and who can vote for the board of directors and approve the EGA’s work. Next are contributors, paying $15,000 and who can participate in working groups, while associate membership costs $5,000 but lacks voting rights.

Oracle is focusing on ERP, CRM and BI applications which it says are being held up in the move to grid because they are not batch-based software but are typically data centric and include terabytes of data. Oracle has been driving grid as a key part of its own software with the 10g database and application server, and would clearly appreciate more grid-friendly applications on the market in order for customers to utilize its platform in grid architectures.

Five EGA working groups will tackle terminology, taxonomy, autonomy, resource provisioning, data provisioning and security. Specifications and standards are to be delivered on a royalty free basis.

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Upon completion of phase one later this year, phase two will cover technical applications and processing across multiple datacenters and web services calls between applications, The goal is for completion in the 18 month period after phase one is finished.

A third phase aims to unify grids between enterprises, for capacity on demand.

This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire

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