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To drive industry consensus around Grid computing standards, the New Productivity Initiative (NPi) and the Global Grid Forum (GGF) today announced that they are joining forces to accelerate Grid standards development efforts.

By consolidating multiple complementary standards efforts relating to Grid computing, the NPi and GGF hope to stimulate even broader industry participation and collaboration on the common standards required to drive adoption of Grid computing.

“Together, we can combine our knowledge, resources and expertise to further accelerate the development of industry standards for Grid computing,” said Ian Baird, President, NPi, and Chief Business Architect, Platform Computing Inc. “NPi had a specific focus, process and objective which integrates well into the GGF’s broader perspective. We hope that this collaboration will result in an increase in industry participation and drive Grid computing to the next evolution of its development in the enterprise.”

NPi was formed in 2000 to create a layered, open, API specification for Distributed Resource Management (DRM) by documenting specifications and standards that allow and promote interoperability. Members include leading vendors such as Aurema, ANSYS, Cadence Design Systems, Inc, Compaq, HP, SGI, and Platform Computing Inc. GGF was formed in late 1998, originally as “Grid Forum,” to bring together Grid “consumers” and “producers” in order to promote and develop common approaches and shared solutions through consensus-based standards.
As part of the integration of NPi and GGF, NPi is transferring its entire body of work, including the reference and design models efforts, to the GGF. For example, a working group addressing the NPi reference model has been created within the GGF, chaired by Darren Pulsipher of Cadence. Other groups may be established within GGF to map NPi work already in progress to efforts within the GGF, focusing on areas such as the Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) and interoperability. In February 2002 NPi President Ian Baird was invited to become a member of the GGF Steering Committee, the governing body for the GGF. The remaining members of the current NPi Board intend to become active in various GGF working groups.

“The integration of NPi and GGF is significant because NPi’s approach complements our processes and work completed to date, and reinforces a pragmatic, methodical approach to Grid standards development, strengthening our efforts to be responsive and open to the needs of the entire industry, including commercial enterprises,” said Charlie Catlett, Chair, GGF. “We are very excited to have the NPi, as a vendor-backed organisation, join with GGF, because it shows the commitment and leadership of industry members, including Platform, Compaq, HP and Cadence, in working together to move forward faster than ever before in the development of Grid standards and in driving adoption of Grid computing.”

The Global Grid Forum (GGF) is a community-initiated forum of individual researchers and practitioners working on distributed computing, or ‘grid’ technologies. GGF work is done through working groups and research groups in a fashion loosely modeled after the Internet Standards Process, including the development of an ongoing technical document series similar to the IETF’s Request for Comments (RFC), where Internet standards are documented. GGF efforts are also aimed at the development of a broadly based Integrated Grid Architecture that can serve to guide the research, development, and deployment activities of the emerging Grid communities. Established initially as ‘Grid Forum’ in late 1998, GGF meets three times annually with participation from over 30 countries, over 250 organisations, and typically 350-500 participants. GGF’s next meeting is GGF-5 in Edinburgh, Scotland July 21-24, 2002.

For more information:

Richard Bennett or Tamsin Keynton, MCC International, or, 01962 888100

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