EGAs Work Seems Relevant

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-05-10 Print this article Print

for Enterprise"> Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata Inc. in Nashua, N.H., said the Reference Model has eased the concerns he had about the EGAs relevance when it first launched. "Theyre doing good work, actually," he said. "I was very concerned when the EGA first came up. You could maybe still say, Theyve been out there a year and theres just this one Reference Model. But they do seem to have settled into a model of contributing. "Having a Reference Model, especially when you have a very complicated environment, where there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of change and a lot of confusion over what goes where and what works with what, thats an environment where having a reasonably sophisticated model of the world, and having it in writing so everyone can criticize the same thing … thats useful."
But its not as useful as having working code, Eunice said, and hed still like to see more in terms of use cases.
As an example, he said, take "Section 7.3, use case example: provisioning server in an operating system. How would I apply the model, what are the components in the reference model that apply to provisioning, what are the pieces that would be put into place, when do we discover the target, when do we load the software onto it, when do we activate the software, when do we report back that the software has been loaded, when do we boot that system thats been loaded?" These are very low-level steps, Eunice said. But the reason that other standards work, such as XML, is that people have walked through such details. Still, the Reference Model is a good thing, Eunice said. "Any such document is bound to be too high-level," he said. "I wish it were more detailed. I wish it had more use cases. But the model I had of [the EGA was] as a pure marketing organization. This is useful output. … Having some documentation about the overall model in which [grid organizations] work, the overall vocabulary in which they work, thats goodness." Whats next for the EGA, Strong said, is producing deliverables from four working groups, looking at four issues that are considered inhibitors to the adoption of grid. Provisioning servers and provisioning and management of data, which is at a higher level of abstraction than the storage level, are two issues. Another issue being worked on is security requirements—of particular interest in an enterprise grid environment, where theres a lot of sharing of computing resources, Strong said, with multiple applications or services installed on a given server or platform. "You want to isolate those," Strong said. "And sharing through time: if you have a server or operating system, its at one point part of one server or application. As the load changes, you may want to repurpose the server to work on another application. When you reprovision, you want to scrub and make sure no one has access to information previously on the system." Finally, the EGA is working on utility accounting, long a dilemma with grid computing. "We need to map value to cost," Strong said. "We have to have telemetry or instrumentation to work out which components … which applications theyre doing work on behalf of. That same telemetry enables the ability to pay for services or applications on a pay for use or pay for value basis." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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