Cloud Convergence: 6 Standards That Matter

By | May 9, 2014

SDN, big data, and scale-out storage architectures have increased the complexity of datacenter convergence projects since InformationWeek last surveyed its readership on the topic. Β­Hybrid clouds are on the horizon for 65%, but to get there, IT must sort out everything from server architectures (internal vs. network storage, blades vs. rack mount) to storage protocols (FC vs. iSCSI vs. NAS) to network management and administration (including SDN) to virtualization and cloud platforms (OpenStack, CloudStack, vCloud).

We decided to explore adoption of datacenter technologies that support convergence and how willing IT is to entertain proprietary specs versus waiting for standards bodies to ward off lock-in. Some key findings (full report available here):

  • 19% of the 214 respondents to our 2014 Datacenter Convergence Survey say they are not looking to converge. The top reasons: no perceived business advantage and other projects having a higher priority, both cited by 32%.

  • 73% of those respondents with data convergence plans say reducing costs is the top driver for adopting technologies that support convergence. The No. 2 response, building a private cloud, was selected by 30%.

  • 68% say deploying an FCoE and/or iSCSI SAN allowed them (21%) or will allow them (47%) to eliminate Fibre Channel.

  • 22% will devote more than 20% of their fiscal-year 2014 budgets to achieving datacenter convergence, virtualization, and private cloud; 7% will devote more than 30%.

  • 20% have consolidated personnel with networking, storage, and server skill sets into one integrated unit versus 30% with separate teams. In our 2012 poll, 28% had consolidated.


p>In this report, I analyze the survey findings, discuss cloud specs to watch, recommend six places to standardize now, and provide four steps to forward convergence goals.