Blockchain in your Datacenter

Trust is the next big disruptor.   We see this with governments bringing to-bare legislation to restore trust in the business we depend on.  We see this with companies like Apple and IBM that have long been betting their brands on open commitments to protect their client’s data.  We see the emergence of new cloud serviceslike the IBM Hyper Protect family which offer security and privacy-based SLAs.

Blockchain technology is another great example of trust-based innovation.   A blockchain’s raison-d’etre is founded in the concept of a consortium of parties who inherently do not trust each other.  By adopting a blockchain solution to do business with each other, these parties are choosing to use technology to implement trust instead of alternative legacy mechanisms (e.g., clearing houses, brokers etc) with the promise of better efficiencies, increased repeatability and faster time-to-value.

To-date LinuxONE has been the foundation upon which IBM Blockchain Platform has implemented trust in the IBM Cloud.  Startups like Plastic Bank and Everledger are building disruptive business models that depend inherently on LinuxONE security and privacy.  Similarly, large consortiums like Maersk, Walmart, Smart Dubai, SecureKey etc are building scalable and secure blockchain fabrics based inherently on LinuxONE.

As such it is very exciting to see today’s announcement of the availability of IBM Blockchain Platform on LinuxONE for private clouds behind the firewall.  The team at Clabby Analytics have as always done a great job of summarising why they think the announcement is compelling for clients for the following 3 reasons:

From a hardware perspective, we believe  that IBM, with its LinuxONE platform, offers the best hardware platform in the industry for running blockchain. In short, LinuxONE offers a different type of processor that is extremely well suited to processing Linux workloads. Additionally, it is better at processing variable workloads than x86 servers due to significantly more cache and a concept known as “stacking.”

The LinuxONE environment is also highly scalable (up to 170 cores), has a massive dedicated I/O subsystem (up to 640 co-processors), can support up to 8,000 virtual machines; can exploit up to 32TB of main memory; and, has on-chip cryptographic accelerators delivering performance gains to the encryption and hashing functions in blockchain workloads.

For customers who wish to deploy blockchain on x86 and other system types, IBM’s new Blockchain Everywhere initiative also makes this possible.

From a software perspective, the IBM Blockchain Platform is open source-based (Hyperledger Fabric, Kubernetes.) But extensions to LinuxONE give the platform performance, scalability and security advantages over other blockchain PaaS offerings. For instance, the IBM LinuxONE crypto co-processors offload a lot of security processing overhead; elliptical curve technology streamlines the processing of digital signatures; and Hypersocket technology speeds data transfer.

The IBM position on the announcement is summarised below:

IBM Blockchain Platform is built on Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source blockchain framework hosted by the Linux Foundation. Underpinned by LinuxONE, IBM Blockchain Platform running Hyperledger Fabric helps enable clients to protect their data, ensure the integrity of the overall network, and meet the stringent security requirements of the financial, health care and government sectors, helping to foster compliance.

Consider Smart Dubai, a city-wide initiative using IBM Blockchain Platform to integrate digitized services and experiences run on IBM Blockchain into citizens’ day-to-day lives. The new platform conforms to the Dubai Government’s Information Security Regulation (ISR) and is powered by LinuxONE.

And just like Smart Dubai, there are numerous clients who want to deploy blockchain, but need to host data locally for government, regulatory or corporate reasons. Now, they can implement blockchain on premises – taking advantage of a secure blockchain infrastructure underpinned by advanced workload isolation and tamper-resistant encryption key storage. Clients can also keep a copy of the ledger on their own infrastructure, enabling control around where and how data is stored.

For clients operating in European countries affected by the stepped-up regulations of GDPR and PSD2, or in general for data residency and privacy concerns, IBM Z and LinuxONE can encrypt 100 percent of application, cloud service, and database data without application changes. IBM Z and LinuxONE delivers the scalability to support and enable rapid growth, making IBM Blockchain on IBM Cloud Private running on IBM Z and LinuxONE the best choice for clients looking for the highest levels of security coupled with the ability to meet compliance needs.

For the full blog check here.

I personally believe that a whole new set of blockchain use-cases that were bound by data-residency and regulatory concerns can be unlocked by the new addition of IBM Blockchain Platform running on a LinuxONE in your datecenter.   This is another huge step forward in the evolution of trust-based disruption!


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