As the blockchain continues to grow in popularity, you might wonder if the technology is right for your business or how to start implementing it. VMware Inc. is trying to help solve these problems with its new blockchain-as-a-service (SaaS) software for businesses.
The virtualization software and services company announced VMware Blockchain, a new SaaS solution Tuesday at VMworld 2018 Europe, presenting it as a way for companies that already use VMware tools to adopt blockchain technology and move blockchain projects into full production.
VMware Blockchain will provide authorized blockchain for businesses, which according to a press release will provide a decentralized trust (a blockchain-style system) making it easier to manage, as well as safer and more reliable.
This new software service provides "the tools, support and integrations that companies need to fully adopt blockchain and make the leap from" pioneers stalled "locked in pilots to full production," said Michael DePetrillo, senior director of blocker of VMware. ITBusiness.ca.
According to VMware, VMware Blockchain will be integrated into existing VMware tools and will address three areas:
- Give businesses a true decentralized trust – with the ability to deploy nodes across multiple cloud environments (including local nodes)
- Offer tools focused on "second day" operations (eg auditing, data control, corporate monitoring) and;
- It is compatible with developers because it is compatible with the Ethereum network and the applications based on Ethereum, as well as offering tools for smart contracts, API documentation and sample code.
Authorized against public blockchain
An authorized SaaS solution means that it is safer than a typical public blockchain.
A typical blockchain is a decentralized public ledger that allows anyone to make changes or add new locks in the chain / registry system.
An authorized system works similarly to any other blockchain but allows users to assign to participants who are given permission or authority to modify or validate changes to the ledger. This can make blockchain technology more reliable and secure in the world of business processes and projects.
"VMware Blockchain is a service that will provide authorized blockchain for businesses, which is inherently safer than public blockchains," VMware said in a press release. "[It] will provide the foundation for decentralized trust while delivering enterprise-class scalability, reliability, security and manageability. "
VMware Blockchain beta test
SaaS is currently available in beta and several companies, including Dell Technologies and Deloitte, are helping to develop the software.
In VMworld, the company demonstrated on stage how companies like Deloitte and Wipro Ltd. (an information technology company based in India) are using the new SaaS in the supply chain to detect fraudulent goods. Wipro, for example, is monitoring expired drugs and verifying that they have been incinerated.
"The number of number one use cases at the moment is digital rights management," said DePetrillo. He noted that this was popular among governments for land registries and the film industry with post-production footage.
"I like the use case because it's easy to tie the ROI," he said, "we spend money to implement blockchain and we'll be able to get a percentage increase in royalty payments."
He also defined these interesting use cases due to the anchoring of data. "Customers with information already stored elsewhere can take a hash of that high-value content and store it in the blockchain." Becomes anchored in the trust network provided by the blockchain, noting when a resource has changed. "DePetrillo noted that this allows companies to simplify the blockchain and start using it together with existing data sets.
Verizon is also part of the VMware Blockchain beta, using the service in a way that combines blockchain with the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Creation of a SaaS blockchain
VMware has been researching blockchain technology for more than four years and this SaaS is essentially the combination of a lot of work, DePetrillo said.
It is a combination of a new consent algorithm, an enterprise level security and the Open Concord project, which allows companies to offer blockchain technology as a service. The service will integrate "the existing VMware tools to protect the network and the processing functions that are the basis of a true corporate blockchain", according to the press release.
VMware Blockchain is only available in beta at this point without any word on when it will be available for the general version.