The Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA) has announced five new members - UK e-Science Core Programme, Unisys, Univa, Voltaire and The 451 Group.

Formed last year to promote use of computing grids in enterprises, the EGA has 30 member companies including HP, Intel, Dell, Oracle and Sun. However it is still missing IBM, Microsoft and BEA.

"The significance [of the new members] I think is primarily a momentum point about the increasing membership and awareness of the important work EGA is uniquely doing," said Peter Foulkes, chairman of the marketing steering committee at EGA and director of high performance and technical computing at Sun. However, EGA may still find it difficult to build an industry-wide consensus.

IBM in a prepared statement cited the existence of multiple grid groups in its decision not to join. "IBM welcomes the recognition by EGA members of the importance of grid computing," the company said. "However, IBM believes existing organizations are sufficient and working well. In particular, the Global Grid Forum, OASIS and the Internet Engineering Task Force provide open forums with wide industry support."

BEA, also in a prepared statement, said it was "assessing the right standards and business partners that would be relevant for an application server platform and enterprise computing, rather than the entire world of grid applications.

"That being said," it continued, "the EGA does seem to be focused on some of the right areas, and BEA will see how it develops before making any decisions." Microsoft did not comment.

The EGA has lately been working on communication and awareness of the grid needs of for-profit companies, forming relationships with other grid-focused organisations and setting up technical working groups. Working groups have been formed for reference models, component provisioning, data provisioning, security, and utility accounting, Foulkes said.