EGAs Work Seems Relevant
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."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 requirementsof 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.