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Dallas, Texas – Grid Forum, a primarily U.S.-based grassroots organization of individuals developing, deploying, or using grid technologies, has combined with eGrid, the European Grid Forum, and leaders from Asia-Pacific, to create Global Grid Forum (GGF).
Grid Forum has held five major workshops during the past two years with attendance ranging from 120 to 190 and eGrid has held a similar series of workshops in Europe. Global Grid Forum merges 10 Grid Forum and eGrid working groups with more than 500 participants from 150 organizations in more than two dozen countries. GGF working groups will develop agreements and distill common practices in a growing worldwide community of people working on projects to build grids.
GGF is a community-initiated forum focused on promoting and developing grid technologies and applications by developing and documenting “best practices,” implementation guidelines, and standards, with an emphasis on rough consensus and running code. GGF’s working groups which focus on issues that range from directory services to security to grid programming and runtime environments–are currently developing 30 “grid working drafts,” many of which will be included in a GGF document series.
“Many people from Europe and Asia-Pacific have been active in Grid Forum from the start, and we made great progress in bringing together the European grid community by forming a partner forum called eGrid during the past year,” says Alexander Reinefeld, a member of the Global Grid Forum Advisory Committee and director of computer science at the Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum f¸r Informationstechnik in Berlin, Germany. “Merging the Asia-Pacific, eGrid, and Grid Forum communities, including all of the working groups, creates a critical mass that would be difficult to achieve within a single continent or country.”
GGF held a preliminary joint workshop in October at Grid Forum 5 (GF5) in Boston. GF5 was the largest Grid Forum meeting to date, with more than 180 participants, including more than 40 from Europe and Asia-Pacific. The first official GGF meeting, Global Grid Forum 1 (GGF1), will be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, March 4-7, 2001.
In combining Asia-Pacific, European, and North American grid communities GGF has created a new steering group and advisory committee with representatives from each of these regions.
“Many of our application-based grid projects are already global,” says Yoichi Muraoka, a member of the Global Grid Forum Advisory Committee and professor of computer science at Waseda University in Tokyo. “We have scientific teams from Japan, the U.S. (the GriPhyn project) and Europe (the Data Grid project), for instance, working together to build grid capabilities for the analysis of physics data. GGF provides a point of collaboration for the applications developers and computer scientists in these and similar projects.”
GGF will use the schedule set by Grid Forum, meeting three times a year. Following the Amsterdam meeting next March will be a July 2001 workshop in Washington, DC. Grid Forum sponsors include Argonne National Laboratory, NASA Numerical Aerospace Simulation (NAS) division, Microsoft Research, Sun Labs, National Center for Supercomputing Applications/National Computational Science Alliance, San Diego Supercomputing Center/National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure, Boeing Phantom Works, and the University of Virginia.
The Grid Forum website ( http://www.gridforum.org ) contains information about GGF, the activities of the working groups, and past and future workshops.