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OGSA + EGA = ?

What does the merger of the Global Grid Forum and the Enterprise Grid Alliance mean for the people actually developing Grid standards? This has been addressed in a couple of sessions here at GGF18. The first indications is that their efforts mesh quite well - or at least they avoid much conflict.

The EGA have produced a reference model, a security model and use cases, concentrating on the management of data centres. Their focus on the provisioning of data servers should nicely complement the existing OGSA work, which addresses provisioning of compute servers rather than data and considers only higher-level data services. Similarly the EGA reference model describes the components of a data centre at a higher level than current CIM work, which is where OGSA is currently concentrating its efforts. And of course the Enterprise requirements have a major focus on SLAs, QoS, policy management, billing and chargeback - long recognised by OGSA but not something they've got around to addressing. Even the glossaries produced by the two bodies hardly clash - so we can't use the excuse that we don't understand each other!

One area where the two approaches currently differ is in the area of management. In OGSA, each service is typically self-managed, whereas the EGA typically has one service managing multiple others. This will require some work to reconcile. In the meantime, the two groups have agreed to compare their provisioning models to see whether they can produce a common solution.

So the initial prognosis is hopeful. As always, the devil will be in the detail. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the detailed discussions.

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