OGF Spec Makes Grids Interoperable

By Nicole Hemsoth

November 19, 2007

The Open Grid Forum (OGF) announced its High Performance Computing (HPC) Basic Profile specification will be adopted in product releases planned by several commercial providers including Microsoft, Altair and Platform Computing. The HPC Basic Profile will enable users of Microsoft’s Window’s HPC Server 2008, Altair’s PBS Professional and Platform LSF products to achieve interoperability and manage resources across multi-site, multi-vendor grids. The profile also will be implemented in open source software running some of the world’s largest production grids in North America, Europe and Asia.   

OGF is also demonstrating interoperable implementations of the HPC Basic Profile at the SC07 conference this week. The demonstration involves compute clusters processing various HPC applications submitted via the HPC Basic Profile specification, which leverages common Web services specifications and existing OGF standards to enable interoperability between the middleware platforms used in the demonstration. Organizations participating in the demonstration include Altair Engineering, EGEE/OMII-UK, Microsoft, Platform Computing, NorduGrid/KnowARC, NIC/Forschungszentrum Julich/OMII-Europe, U.K. e-Science and University of Virginia. These participants are exhibiting their implementations in either their open-source research software or prototypes of upcoming products.

“Customers leveraging grid technologies want the benefits of using and integrating multiple commercial and open source solutions,” said Craig Lee, president of the OGF. “This sort of interoperability, enabled by implementations of OGF specifications, is a goal we are achieving thanks to the hard work of our contributors and members.”

“Microsoft’s approach to HPC of delivering high-performance and highly productive solutions is rapidly gaining momentum among a broad range of enterprise, academic and government customers, many with substantial history of HPC investments,” said Kyril Faenov, general manager of HPC at Microsoft Corp. “Microsoft’s commitment to interoperability ensures that organizations can realize greater overall productivity through end to end connections between people, data and different HPC systems. Over the past few years, Microsoft has taken the lead in architecting and promoting a broad range of interoperability standards, most notably the OGF’s HPC Basic Profile. We are excited by the adoption of this standard among the leading commercial vendors and its support in the upcoming release of Windows HPC Server 2008.”

“This is a seminal event in grid history: multiple top-tier HPC vendors agree to adopt an OGF specification in their commercial products,” said Bill Nitzberg, CTO of grid technologies at Altair Engineering Inc. “Altair Engineering is among the founding participants of the Grid Forum precisely to promote interoperability — a catalyst for our PBS GridWorks Open Architecture. Our customers will be able to get all the power, ease-of-use, scalability and reliability of Altair’s PBS GridWorks suite of on-demand computing technologies, while continuing to leverage investments in other workload management systems.”

“The adoption of OGF standards is essential to Platform customers looking to move from siloed HPC infrastructure to enterprise grid environments,” said Chris Smith, vice president of standards at OGF and principal product architect for Platform Computing. “Platform’s effort in driving the specification and the incorporation into Platform LSF, represents a significant step forward in providing interoperable solutions that customers demand. To facilitate wider adoption of the OGF HPC Basic Profile, we have made our implementation available as open source, assisting other organizations in building standards based solutions.”

About Open Grid Forum

Open Grid Forum (OGF) was formed in June, 2006 with the merger of the Global Grid Forum (GGF) and the Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA). Headquartered in Chicago, OGF is a community of users, researchers, developers and solution providers representing over 400 organizations in more than 50 countries. OGF works to accelerate grid adoption by providing an open forum for grid innovation and developing open standards for grid software interoperability. For more information, visit www.ogf.org.

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