JAXenter: Hyperledger has really entered the cloud door now that Fabric has the attention of all Cloud providers. What does this say about Hyperledger's maturity and his commitment to the Cloud?
Brian Behlendorf: The project is just three years old – it was launched for the first time in December 2015. When it was launched, the code was still very much geared towards research and development. It was still very prototypical, very soon. There was a clear message that this code would take some time to settle down. We thought, we try to distribute it for some things and see what happens, but it has been tagged with an "unsafe for production use" at the beginning.
We were still looking for a lot of questions like, "How do we grow this community? How big should a community be?" What standards do we want to follow? "" Much of that was frozen in the first year. "Then, Fabric was our first version 1.0 of production in the middle of 2017 – a year and a half.
Now, many people do not use a 1.0 product. You do not want to use Windows 1.0 or Linux 1.0. But for us, 1.0 says: "Here's a big software that developers now feel comfortable with people who have never met and feel in control using this software in production, which does not mean it's either perfect or lacking bug, but it means that there is a level of confidence in this.There are other controls we do.We have a third-party security company that enters and scans the code for security vulnerabilities.We know you can not get them all , but let us take the fruit low.
There is more space in the Hyperledger greenhouse for many other projects. We want diversity at every level. That's why we have competing cadres. It creates a bit of rivalry, but also a lot of collaboration.
With version 1.0, from that moment on, a lot of people have started using it and putting it into production. So you begin to realize the next order of challenges, which is: "How to make it easier to adopt or activate someone?" Above all because in a blockchain application you rarely have only one company involved. Usually, you have three companies, ten companies, a hundred companies. So, making everyone adopt a new technology is difficult. Usually, it is difficult to convince even one company to adopt a new technology. But to get a whole industry, or even a bootstrap number, you have to meet the companies in which they are located. If there are three banks starting a network, one could be very advanced, but the other two could be more advanced.
Therefore, cloud adoption and cloud support for these technologies are incredibly important. It must be easy for overloaded and underpaid IT personnel who do not have the ability to become experts in new emerging technology to be able to defend their company's interests. Many of these clouds, including Amazon and Google, are listening to their customers: "Support the execution of Fabric?" Because they sell their access to virtual hardware essentially, customers can always run versions of Fabric on AWS. But now all those companies and all cloud service providers now have top-quality brand services on Fabric or Sawtooth. This is a sign of the fact that our technologies are not only ready for the first users, they are also ready for the wider market.
When someone goes and builds a network for a banking sector, or a commercial sector, or a supply chain, everyone can get on board, not just the first to adopt.
JAXenter: in your opening keynote at the Hyperledger Global Forum you mentioned the new library: Hyperledger Ursa. Will new libraries come in the future? Will they have their group separated from the instruments?
Brian Behlendorf: We will see it over time. Our goal is not to have a thousand projects, our goal is to have a well-kept portfolio and that our projects work well one with the other. There are limits beyond how many people you can have in a community before it becomes too difficult to manage. But I could see some other wing of the greenhouse. Perhaps a wing dedicated to bookcases or models. We probably will not create apps for end users. I do not think we really want to get into a house for applications that barely touch the blockchain as a way to store and retrieve data. I'd like to see projects outside of Hyperledger.
What's in store, I think it's libraries, templates and frameworks that make pattern replay easier. For the supply chain, traceability is a model that applies to many different sectors. Marketplaces and directories could be another model. Put all these things together and there's more space in the Hyperledger greenhouse for many other projects. We want diversity at every level. That's why we have competing cadres. It creates a bit of rivalry, but also a lot of collaboration.
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JAXenter: you also mentioned the certifications in your keynote. What are the advantages of passing the exam? What can these certifications for Hyperledger do?
Brian Behlendorf: Certifications provide a professionalization of space. We are helping people understand that here is enough substance for what we are building and quite different. If you're seriously building this into your main information system, you want to know that if you're thinking of hiring someone and claim to know how Hyperledger Fabric works that their request is trustworthy. The training and the test are intended to help convey this trust.
All this concerns the medium-long term adopters on board. Early adopters have their own process to control developers or are perhaps willing to pay for someone who will receive training for a few months. The mid to late adopters need someone who has already said they are reliable and well informed. In some cases, latecomers simply adopt cloud or cloud offers and do not have staff. But there will be some who realize that they need some staff with a direct connection that can check and validate what's going on.
My hope is that being able to indicate the thousands of developers who have this certification, states that this is now a safer technology. Now there is a system resilience. The certification for the administrator of these technologies is what we are launching first. Then we will review the certifications for other things, such as the developer or companies that offer blockchain as a service. How do you know that your instances or the use of Fabric on one cloud provider will be the same as another or that you can move it or add nodes for greater resilience? All this is important. The broader theme is professionalization.
Being able to indicate the thousands of developers who have this certification, says that this is now a safer technology. Now there is a system resilience.
We will not do this as a revenue generator or to add new members. This is in our mission. It's what we're here to do. This is what the Linux Foundation does in other places. Here, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (home of Kubernetes) does exactly the same thing. They have a certification exam and certificate of Kubernetes certified administrator, as well as solution providers and providers certified by Kubernetes. This is something that modern IT companies expect from a mature technology base.
So, how can we help blockchain technology from this first Cambrian explosion of many different ideas into something that is a little more predictable? I've been accused of making the blockchain boring, and I'll take it!
JAX: C & # 39; is still a shortage of talent, the certifications will help?
Brian Behlendorf: It will certainly help you. We need more, for sure. This is where you will learn how to go to the community for help. It will teach you how to support you. Certificates will also teach you if you find a bug and how to fix it, how to create a pull request. It is equally important to help the wider market and the specialists.
We want to show people that our technology is usable and that there are people out there who can help you install it.
Do not use a blockchain because it's a large data pool or because it's fast. Use a blockchain only if you have a trust problem. So it is worth paying the penalty.
JAX: are you going to reach the developers beyond the blockchain world? If so, how?
Brian Behlendorf: I attended Ethereum conferences every year without a marketing presence just to build personal connections and bring some of them together. With other blockchain communities, I'm letting them know how we work together. But I also spend a lot of time in other developer conferences, like some of the Cloud and open source Linux conferences. I give some talk to those and help people who are in very different places to see how our code works.
We want to make more sensitization. Our marketing department wants to explain what this code is for other people. We do things like developer profiles on our website, as well as an active blog that we ask developers to write. All of this hopes to encapsulate what is happening here in more digestible blocks that find their way far beyond the blockchain.
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JAX: there are still some concerns about the blockchain. Scalability, for example, is one of these. There are many questions about the blockchain that has not yet been answered. What do you need for people to be sure of the blockchain?
Brian Behlendorf: Normalization. We need more people working with this code and more stories about how people use it. That's why it was great to have Aaron Symanski from Change Healthcare who put down a number: 50 million transactions a day. This is a signal to all the others that if they design it correctly and do the right things, they can build a system that can satisfy that number. Those numbers are not everything. There are a lot of different questions to answer what scalability actually needs in a blockchain network. It is not only the number of transactions you have, but also your resilience to security issues and the number of nodes on the network. It's a bit counter-intuitive, but the more nodes you have the slower network.
There is something in the art and science of blockchain design and application design at that level that will probably be as unique as the database design that emerged after the exit of the SQL programming language. Once people started working with relational databases, it became clear that there was quite a bit of architectural thinking about the app you want to create and how to model it in the database. The first databases were slow and we had to think about each byte and the way they aligned. You had to think about the physical format of the hard drive to get the performance you needed when the CPUs were much slower. If you're a great database architect, you're constantly thinking about this. We will see a similar field of blockchain architecture. How do you squeeze most of the performance into meeting all the company-wide goals?
In the early days of the web, and even in the middle of the last decade, it was still the case that if you ran a website with a good amount of traffic you would fall. Sometimes you would go to visit a site to see something really interesting, and it would often be inactive or not responding. It still happens here or there, but now we have things like content distribution networks and companies to answer the question of "What if I have too much good?" In the blockchain space, part of this architecture is how we adapt what we are doing when suddenly there are ten times the amount of interest and traffic. I do not think there is ever a singular answer to the problem of scalability.
How we create skill sets that will enable us to answer the question: "How can I respond to the next highest traffic threshold?" It's a mix of technology and business to answer this question.
JAXenter: Some say that blockchain is the slowest database in the world right now.
Brian Behlendorf: Yes, and it's not a slow singular database. But that's where we really need to be clear about blockchain and public permits. If you're talking about Bitcoin or Ethereum, they can only do three or ten transactions per second. Even if they made three or ten million transactions a second, there would still be a good reason for not doing most of the transactions on the public ledger. Why make yourself subject to the activities of people you do not have relationships with? It is certainly true, but you can always use a centralized database to solve any problem. It will always be faster and cheaper to do it that way.
Do not use a blockchain because it's a large data pool or because it's fast. Use a blockchain only if you have a trust problem. So it is worth paying the penalty. There is always a good demand to bring down the cost of that penalty. The more we reduce it, the more places it will be worth using it. But there will always be a centralized penalty and this is because there is value in decentralization.
JAXenter: what are your predictions for 2019 and what is your new year resolution for Hyperledger?
Brian Behlendorf: I think it will be clear to people that blockchains are not just cryptocurrencies and that it is possible to solve many of these problems that people hope to solve. We have been consistent on the message of where and how to create blockchain. Our signal has grown and is growing. The cycle of cryptocurrency hype is arguably a little down and people are asking more difficult questions. I do not think cryptocurrencies will ever go away, but I think this is when people see how they can use these technologies without having to worry about market prices. 2019 will be a continuous reiteration of how people use blockchain and pose more difficult questions about the value they are getting from it.
Within Hyperledger, our resolution concerns professionalization or standardization. It is a balancing act between business software that does not change much that people can trust, which becomes better and smarter, but still has room for new disruptive ideas.
My only resolution for the new year is traveling much less! I was on the road more than half of every day of this year and I was going around a world a couple of times. I'd like to turn it only once or twice.