HP, IBM, INTEL, SUN LAUNCH GLOBUS CONSORTIUM

By Nicole Hemsoth

January 31, 2005

Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems announced the formation of the Globus Consortium, a new industry group dedicated to the commercial advancement of the Globus Toolkit, an open standards building block for enterprise-level Grid implementations. HP, IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems are Sponsor Members of the Globus Consortium. Nortel Networks and Univa are Contributor Members.

The new consortium's technology roadmap will be guided by charter members, and Ian Foster and Steve Tuecke, consortium board members who led the original team that developed the Globus Toolkit at Argonne National Labs.

“Virtual environment software, the foundation for Grid computing, saw worldwide revenues grow 25 percent between 2003 and 2004,” said Dan Kusnetzky, IDC's vice president of system software research. “Open standards, such as the Globus Toolkit, are an important part of that growth. IDC expects standards to continue to be an important part of virtualized environments going forward.”

While the Globus Consortium is not a standards body, it does intend to work in tandem with existing Grid standards bodies — such as the Global Grid Forum (GGF) — to further drive implementation of standards that best support enterprise Grid implementations.

“The GGF and Globus communities continue to build on our historically close relationship,” said Mark Linesch, chair of the GGF. “With the launch of the Globus Consortium, we are excited to have additional support in driving the implementation and standards that have been created within the GGF. Working together, we can accelerate efforts toward standardization and the pervasive adoption of Grid solutions for research and industry.”

The Globus Consortium, with funding and engineering support from its member companies, will focus on providing resources and direction on the technology roadmap for the Globus Toolkit. It will define specifications and requirements for the Globus Toolkit, fund code contributions, and deliver leadership on open standards for industry Grid standards organizations.

“HP views the Grid as an important strategic space and a key component of the HP Adaptive Enterprise, which helps enterprises become agile and simplifies their access to global enterprise computing solutions,” said Greg Astfalk, chief scientist, office of strategy and technology for HP. “In HP's view, the Grid is a powerful way to virtualize, share, and manage resources; our leadership and financial support in the new Globus Consortium will further accelerate the development, adoption and quality of the open source Globus Toolkit.”

“Businesses are adopting Grid computing at a quickening pace, and we believe the Globus Toolkit helps accelerate that adoption,” said Ken King, vice president of Grid computing at IBM. “IBM has been a long-time supporter of the Globus Toolkit, which we believe is a valuable asset in helping drive open standards for Grid and distributed computing. As such, we intend to work with the Globus Consortium to increase the value that Globus brings to the business enterprise.”

“Grid computing is going mainstream as enterprises see ways to utilize distributed, large-scale deployments of standards-based hardware and software to solve complex computing problems and drive their business operations to the next level,” said Richard Wirt, vice president of Intel, senior fellow and general manager of the Software and Solutions Group. “As a Sponsor Member of the Globus Consortium, Intel will help foster the use of the Globus Toolkit as a key tool to better harness Grid computing.”

“Expanding our relationship with the Globus Consortium accelerates the development of key tools and the availability of service-based applications that can help usher in this new era in enterprise computing,” said Mark McClain, vice president of software marketing at Sun Microsystems Inc. “Together, Sun and the Globus Consortium can help broaden the reach of Grid technology in both research and the enterprise.”

The Globus Consortium will be headed by IT industry veteran Greg Nawrocki, who will serve as president and be responsible for day-to-day operations and the promotion of the consortium within the industry. Previously, Nawrocki worked at Argonne National Laboratory where he coordinated Globus Toolkit-based application projects and organized the GlobusWORLD conference. Prior to that, Nawrocki served in management and engineering roles at Spyglass, OpenTV, the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University, KMS Fusion and Dexter Research Center.

The Globus Consortium will be further highlighted in the upcoming GlobusWORLD conference in Boston, February 7-11.

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