As a cloud provider, manage software licenses, and what blockchain solutions can provide here

    Red Hat has introduced a blockchain system that will help cloud providers determine how customers use their services. As a result, vendors have the opportunity to offer new, more profitable for users, payment models and to detect fraud with software licenses.

    More details about the system and other blockchain solutions in this area are described below.

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    About Red Hat

    Red Hat proposes to use the blockchain to track how and how much (in time) the client uses the purchased service. The system consists of several components:

    • Signature Infrastructure Management System (GSI). GSI signatures determine the accuracy of the data and the authenticity of their owner. It consists of several levels: client level (determines the number of client systems), gateway level, level of aggregation systems and administration level. As planned by the developers, the last three are separate servers.
    • Data Attribution System. It is necessary that any member of the blockchain network can verify the reliability of this or that information.
    • Identity and Access Management System. Stores data about users and their history of working with software. The data from this component is available only in the monitoring system and cannot be sent to other clients or programs (for security).

    Red Hat believes that the project will allow cloud providers to create new models for selling software licenses. For example, licenses can be sold not in packages (for a year, for two, for three, and so on), but according to the pay-as-you-go model - depending on how many times and for how long the customer actually used the software .

    In addition, providers will know more precisely who uses their services and how. Information about license activation and operating time of the corresponding software is recorded in the blockchain.

    Since the data recorded in the blockchain is almost impossible to modify (“breaking” the blockchain requires a large amount of computing power), the system allows you to reliably track how the program is used. For example, it will be possibledetermine when multiple people work with the same license.

    Other blockchain systems in the cloud

    The developer of virtualization software for VMware is also engaged in the creation of blockchain technologies for the cloud. At the VMworld 2018 US conference, the company presented the infrastructure for the execution of smart contracts - Project Concord. The system will create a trusted ecosystem for monitoring and protecting corporate information.

    It uses the improved Byzantine Fault Tolerance ( BFT ) consensus algorithm . He was named Scalable Byzantine Fault Tolerance - SBFT. The developers have optimized communications between nodes of the blockchain network and increased its throughput. According to CTO VMware Ray O'Farrell (Ray O'Farrell), on other similar systems, consensus is reached in eight days. Project Concord allows you to do this for two and a half hours.

    Project Concord code is available atGitHub . You can also find a guide to customizing this solution. To get started with Concord, you need to install the RELIC toolkit :

    git clone
    cd relic/
    mkdir build/
    cd build/
    cmake -DALLOC=AUTO -DWORD=64 -DRAND=UDEV -DSHLIB=ON -DSTLIB=ON -DSTBIN=OFF -DTIMER=HREAL -DCHECK=on -DVERBS=on -DARITH=x64-asm-254 -DFP_PRIME=254 -DFP_METHD="INTEG;INTEG;INTEG;MONTY;LOWER;SLIDE" -DCOMP="-O3 -funroll-loops -fomit-frame-pointer -finline-small-functions -march=native -mtune=native" -DFP_PMERS=off -DFP_QNRES=on -DFPX_METHD="INTEG;INTEG;LAZYR" -DPP_METHD="LAZYR;OATEP" ..
    sudo make install

    And the cryptopp cryptographic suite :

    git clone
    cd cryptopp/
    git checkout CRYPTOPP_5_6_5;
    mkdir build/
    cd build/
    cmake ..
    sudo make install

    After it is enough to “collect” the concord-bft itself:

    cdcd concord-bft

    Now the system can be installed only on Ubuntu Linux. But in the coming months, the company plans to add support for other operating systems.

    Blockchain as a service

    Both Red Hat and VMware also release solutions based on the Blockchain-as-a-Service model. With their help, you can create your own blockchain applications on the infrastructure of Hyperledger Fabric .

    Red Hat has created a STRATO BaaS solution with which users can deploy their blockchain service in the cloud. The company also offers a special scripting language for this purpose. With it, you can create a blockchain application in a few hours.

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    VMware created Blockchain on vSphere tool. This project helps to implement blockchain platform based on the ESXi hypervisor. Earlier in our blogwe described in detail the operation of this tool and told how to deploy a blockchain application in a VMware system.

    Blockchain helps both cloud providers and their clients. The first get the opportunity to monitor how their services are used, and the second - to speed up the processing of transactions on the virtual infrastructure of the vendor. It can be assumed that over time, the popularity of blockchain solutions in the cloud will only grow.

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