The Globus Consortium unleashed the version 4.0 of the Globus Toolkit (GT4), which is a key component for accelerating the adoption of enterprise-class grids. Developed by the Globus Alliance, the open source GT4 is the latest iteration rendered from a decade of development. The main enhancement from version 3.0 is marrying grid protocols with Web services. GT4 includes support for Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) Web services standards, including Web Services Resource Framework (WS-RF) and Web Services Notification (WS-N) specifications; Security Markup Language (SAML); Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML).
According to Wolfgang Gentzsch, Managing Director at MCNC, integration with Web services will enable more commercial tools to be compliant with grid services, and critical features such as accounting, metering, billing, and measuring can be more easily implemented. Globus Consortium Members--including HP, IBM, Intel, Nortel, Sun and Univa--are updating their current enterprise grid solutions to support GT4 features.
In addition, the Enterprise Grid Alliance, a vendor consortium, is set to release its initial recommendations for accelerating grid adoption in enterprises this month. As I wrote in the September 2004 edition of Release 1.0, the "holy grid" is at the top of the pyramid for automating IT and getting the most out of computing resources. While it appears that the underlying technologies, standard interfaces, architectural principles, protocols and best practices are beginning to mature, getting businesses and individuals to share resources is a major hurdle to overcome. I'm not going very far out on a limb to predict that broad commercial adoption of grid computing will be closer to 2010 than 2006.