Friday, May 24, 2024

Grid Forum Backs Utility Computing Standards

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The Distributed Management Task Force’s effort to draft standards for utility computing has received the backing of the Global Grid Forum (GGF), the Grid computing standards-setting body.

“This is an important activity and we are excited to see the DMTF bring this group together, while simultaneously tapping related efforts, such as GGF’s Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) and several new GGF research groups focused on commercial enterprise Grid application use cases and requirements,” Charlie Catlett, senior fellow at Argonne National Laboratory and chair of GGF, said in a statement.

“The collaboration will deliver the usability the industry requires, and provide standards that capitalize on existing efforts to deliver the management capabilities that will be essential to creating the tools and frameworks necessary for utility computing,” Catlett stated.

“It’s good to see DMTF looking at these issues, and provides another point of collaboration with GGF,” Catlett told Grid Computing Planet. “Understanding the requirements of enterprise/utility computing from a variety of technical viewpoints is an essential need right now.”

GGF also plans a closer look at enterprise and utility computing issues. At GGF 10 in Berlin, Germany next month, Catlett said the group will hold the first meeting of an “Enterprise Grid Requirements” research group. “I expect this group will interact well with the DMTF group,” he said.

The last several months have seen a marked increase in standards activity around Grid, utility computing and Web services, including an effort to make Grid and Web services even closer and an effort to create a data center language standard. GGF has been active in, or following, all those efforts, Catlett said.

“We have been working very closely with both DMTF for the past year, and in the past six months, also with OASIS, because these things are converging,” Catlett said. “The efforts are indeed complementary, and where we have found intersection of activities we have created high-bandwidth liaison activities. For instance, we have a Common Management Model working group within GGF that was created by some folks who also participate in DMTF, and one of the objectives is cross-fertilization between Grid/utility computing and the distributed systems management world.”

Catlett said “the best sign of convergence” is the WS-Resource Framework (WSRF) effort to recast several key components of GGF’s Open Grid Services Infrastructure (OGSI) specification into a set of Web services specs. The work is a joint effort between Grid services proponents from the GGF community and Web services proponents, Catlett said.

“The path forward for this is that WSRF specifications are most likely to be standardized via OASIS, where most Web services work is happening these days,” Catlett said. The GGF OGSI working group will serve a liaison function, and Catlett said he expects the WSRF-related OASIS technical committees to hold meetings at the thrice-yearly Grid forums.

“These are only a few of the ways we are discussing to work together with OASIS and DMTF,” Catlett said.

Catlett also said he is “personally very intrigued by DCML,” the Data Center Markup Language effort, and is “trying to figure out how it might fit into Grid projects that I am doing without my GGF hat on. I definitely think DCML is quite interesting, but I have not followed what they’re doing. We had extended an offer to them to do the work within GGF, but we haven’t followed up. Regardless of where the work is done, I am hoping that we can form a liaison activity with them to make sure there is good exchange of ideas with the Grid community.”

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