New grid computing group meets in Toronto

The Global Grid Forum accepted into its contingency a working group that is charged with developing a specification to enable applications to connect to and communicate with grid computing environments.

The working group, called Distributed Resource Management Application API (DRMAA and pronounced “drama”), will meet for the first time this week at the Global Grid Forum in Toronto.

DRMAA consists of major hardware and software players, such as Intel Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., and IBM Corp., and grid computing specialist Platform Computing Inc.

“Our objective is to make it easier for application builders to connect their applications to grids,” said John Tollefsrud, co-chair of the working group and a product manager for grid computing at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sun.

Tollefsrud continued, saying that by creating the API the working group will enable applications to be deployed within grids and, in turn, will make it easier for girds to be created on a widespread basis. So when software companies and in-house developers build applications to the API, the programs will work with any grids that support the API.

DRMAA meets next week and hopes to have a first draft submitted by mid-year and then to start working on the specification later in the year.

The notion of grid computing has been garnering an increasing amount of attention lately from major hardware and software vendors. On Friday, Sun Microsystems unveiled the Technical Compute Portal, a combination of iPlanet, Sun’s Grid Engine and Sun ONE (Open Network Environment) technologies that the company said enables customers to build grid infrastructures. Compaq Computer Corp. and IBM have also made grid computing moves within the last several months.

The Global Grid Forum is online at