A grid standards organisation, the Global Grid Forum, is merging with an industry-based group, the Enterprise Grid Alliance, that focuses on encouraging enterprise adoption of grid computing.

The EGA was formed in 2004 by EMC, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, NEC., Network Appliance, Oracle and Sun Microsystems, among others, with the goal of developing standards and specifications designed to make it easier to deploy vendor products in a grid.

The GGF was founded in 1989 and includes many members from academia, as well as developers and vendors. It has focused on developing grid-related standards.

The two groups issued a statement yesterday that said, "With a common interest in accelerating the pervasive adoption of grids worldwide, the EGA and GGF are well aligned to join together. Today, we signed a letter of intent to merge and are now entering into the transition phase, which is expected to result in a definitive merger in the summer of 2006."

IBM was notably absent from the EGA at its creation but is represented in the GGF.

The merger will have little direct impact on users, at least in the short term, said one analyst.

"None of this stuff is going to change things for users in the next 12 months," said Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research. The merger, he added, will be a success if the new group can come up with ways for making various systems work together in a grid.

Areas where standards are needed include workload distribution and management interfaces, Gillett said.

Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata, said various vendors were aligned with different organisations, and the groups were serving cross purposes. "A lot of energy was being diffused and burned up in the process," he said.