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Home > iSGTW - 15 September 2010 > Podcast of the Week - Alan Sill of OGF discusses standards, grids, and clouds


Podcast of the Week - Alan Sill of OGF discusses standards, grids, and clouds


Open Grid Forum Vice President of Standards, Alan Sill.

Image courtesy of Alan Sill

It’s been a few months since Alan Sill took over the position of vice president of standards for the Open Grid Forum. Now that he’s had a chance to settle into his new position, Derek Stevens of Cloud Commons has posted an in-depth interview with Sill.

Currently, Sill is a senior scientist at Texas Tech University, where he helped to establish a CMS Tier-3 center and held key positions within TIGRE and PEGrid. He is a charter member of The Americas Grid Policy Management Authority, and has contributed to a variety of working groups within Open Science Grid and the OGF over the years. At the moment he participates in the LHC CMS experiment as a physicist, and contributes to SURAgrid on a regular basis.

According to Sill, a full set of standards for grid computing would necessarily address many of the same issues facing cloud standards bodies. That’s why he makes a case for close collaboration between cloud and grid standards bodies during his interview with Stevens.

I notice that the cloud world is still struggling with a lot of these concepts. How do you identify someone? How do you automate the development of strongly authenticated robot processes? These are things that we’ve been working on for years in OGF.

Sill also comments on the growing prevalence of virtualization in grid computing centers.

When I step back and look at the large-scale grid centers throughout the world - and I’ve been in several of them and talked to a lot of people - what I find is that everyone, for some considerable amount of time now, well over a year and perhaps more in many cases, have been virtualizing their infrastructures for purely practical reasons. Even large scale grid deployments that are highly batch processing oriented find themselves using virtualization techniques and even implementing their own private clouds, and in some cases make use of commercial clouds to improve their workflow, for all the same reasons that a business might adopt them.

You can listen to the interview or read the transcript on the Cloud Commons website.


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