Why VMware decided to create a platform for developing corporate blockchains

    At the end of June, VMware published the VMworld 2018 US and VMworld 2018 EU conference programs , which will be held in August and November, respectively. One of the key topics of the conference is the creation of corporate blockchains on the VMware platform.

    Under the cut, we’ll tell you why the company started working with distributed registries.

    / Pxhere PD Photo

    Why develop

    VMware are actively involved in the development of infrastructure for blockchain technologies. Developers have been working on this platform for more than a year. The company's goal is to create the most secure, reliable and scalable blockchain platform for financial organizations.

    Dahlia Malkhi, a researcher on the VMware Research team, claims that the company has started working on the platform because there are many financial and government organizations among VMware customers who are planning to start working with blockchains. At the same time, the company has impressive experience in the development of distributed systems and contains a research department, on account of which there are many publications and implemented projects on the topic.

    VMware senior manager Mike DiPetrillo said that the company seeks to simplify the implementation of blockchain technologies for its customers as much as possible - to take over the organization of registry management, transaction security and scaling issues.

    At a conference in August 2017, VMware researcher David Tennenhouse (David Tennenhouse) said that the company was already working on a prototype platform for the exchange of digital currency. The release of the pilot version of the platform was scheduled for 2018. Tennenhaus stresses: “Blockchain can become a fundamentally new business area, and we believe that enterprises need innovative blockchain solutions.”

    About the platform

    According to Dalia Malkhi, the VMware solution is aimed at working with closed private blockchains. Therefore, to ensure consensus, they look for alternative solutions that do not necessarily use the principles of proof of work ( proof-of-work ), as is the case with Bitcoin.

    According to representatives of the VMware research department, there are 2 main trends in the world: an increase in the number of cyber attacks and massive digitalization of data and business processes. To solve these two problems, in April 2018, VMware in its study described the concept of scalable decentralized trust infrastructure (scalable decentralized trust infrastructure) - a technology by which VMware implements a platform for creating corporate blockchains.

    It is a distributed system that is resistant to the problem of Byzantine generals (byzantine fault tolerant - BFT ): the system remains reliable even if it contains compromised or failed network nodes. When a group, for example, financial organizations, forms a unified infrastructure of trust, it is able to implement smart contracts “on top” of the BFT system. At the same time, the smart contract execution environment (for example, Ethereum Virtual Machine - EVM) provides a turing- level abstraction that monitors compliance with the terms of the “contract” and prevents DoS attacks.

    VMware researchers tested this infrastructure by running1 million transactions based on real Ethereum workloads. The results showed that the system is capable of performing 50 transactions per second.

    The company's senior manager, Mike Dipetrillo, also added that VMware had already implemented a platform for creating blockchains within the company. The results of testing this system showed that a network of 500 nodes is capable of conducting 30 thousand transactions per second.

    / Pxhere PD Photo

    Other VMware blockchain projects

    The company also works with Hyperledger Fabric, a hub project for developing corporate blockchains, which was created in the Linux Foundation community to popularize the blockchain. In July 2017, Hyperledger released their first solution - Hyperledger Fabric 1.0.

    To work with it, VMware launched an auxiliary project - Blockchain on vSphere, which allows system administrators to deploy a blockchain platform for developers based on the ESXi hypervisor. In our corporate blog, you can find a step-by-step algorithm for implementing a blockchain project using Hyperledger Fabric and vSphere.

    What's next

    So far (before the US August conference), VMware did not disclose the exact release date of the platform for creating corporate blockchains. However, Mike Dipetrillo noted that everyone can follow the development progress on the website of the VMware research department .

    Dipetrillo also said that blockchains are only the beginning of the development of “distributed trust systems”. Now the company is working on auxiliary solutions: distributed analytics systems, IoT interfaces, a proof protocol with zero disclosure .

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