VMware Blockchain Debuts

VMware this week introduced a new blockchain offering, originally announced as a beta in 2018.

VMware Blockchain is now commercially available, designed to help organizations build business networks and deploy business-critical decentralized applications.

Decentralization is key to blockchain, a fairly new, complicated and multi-use technology that leverages cryptography for its most well-known use case: digital currency, often called bitcoin. However, in the enterprise world, it has many more uses, providing a decentralized, distributed ledger created to record the provenance of a digital asset.

It in effect can be used to provide a "single source of truth" for enterprise transactions, for example, through a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked -- or chained together -- using cryptography.

Blockchains are resistant to modifications of their data because the data in any given block can't be altered retroactively without changing all subsequent blocks.

[Click on image for larger view.] Blockchain (source: VMware).

With its new offering, VMware is focusing on the financial industry, though blockchain is also used in other industries.

"A wave of building new critical infrastructure is underway for applications in financial services, manufacturing- and retail-driven supply chain, and healthcare industries that leverage blockchain technologies to help address the pain points experienced with disconnected, siloed systems," VMware said in a news release. "For financial services firms, blockchain technologies radically streamline and simplify operations, allowing banks, broker-dealers, payment processors, and other financial institutions to dramatically shorten processing times, reduce manual processing and duplicative messaging, and create new profit centers with features such as simultaneous trade clearing and settlement."

VMware Blockchain Features
[Click on image for larger view.] VMware Blockchain Features (source: VMware).

Because "Blockchain features can resemble sections of a computer science textbook," VMware tried to briefly describe the features of its new product in a Nov. 18 blog post:

  • State Machine Replication: "To ensure data consistency and resilience in even the most extreme failure scenarios, VMware Blockchain is built on Byzantine fault-tolerant state machine replication."
  • Privacy-aware Authenticated Key/Value Ledger: "In order to prove facts about smart contracts on the platform and to allow access to a privacy-aware verifiable source of truth, VMware Blockchain stores the state of the blockchain in an authenticated key/value data structure."
  • Deep Integration with DAML: "With this release of VMware Blockchain, we support DAML dApps by natively integrating the DAML interpreter as a state machine in the platform."
  • Enterprise-grade Operational Capabilities: "A consistent challenge that customers have shared with us is that deploying and supporting blockchain platforms is difficult and complex. With VMware Blockchain, we reduce that complexity by leveraging the investment and familiarity enterprise customers already have in their existing software-defined infrastructure."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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