Blockchain Technology Resolving IT Infrastructure Problems
Every big and small organization seeks more efficiency with lower budgets, fast operations, and overall transparency in the ecosystem. Blockchain technology along with all these benefits is at the doorsteps knocking every possible arena.
Blockchain technology has great potential in improving IT infrastructure, facilitating security, confidentiality, resilience, transparency at a reduced cost.
Limitations of Current Centralized Computing Machines
The existing computing models have centralized communication via a server to the interconnected nodes. All these devices are connected by cloud servers that have high processing and storage capacity. They are connected via an internet connection for generic use. However, these traditional network models don’t fulfill the rising demands of a vast ecosystem envisioned for the future.
Apart from this, the existing IoT solutions are expensive to build and to maintain. Moreover, they require a strong infrastructure with heavy networking equipment’, servers, and a centralized clouding system.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a peer to peer encrypted, and distributed database that is shared across multiple nodes or computers. Most excitingly, it is a very secure technology with more transparency and minimum security breaches.
Thus an emerging trend of opting for the blockchain in the IT service industry can be observed these days.
Advantages of Blockchains in the IT sector
In the existing system, it is a lengthy and time-consuming process with full reliance on a real third party arbitrator.
Blockchain has great potential to change the traditional IT infrastructure with the application of smart contracts. Smart contracts are digitally signed computable pact between two parties. A virtual agent can be used to execute and enforce most of the terms and conditions.
The smart contracts enable to store, evaluate, and verify the data and then execute code on the blockchain. So currently, every other megaproject is on the path of replacing the traditional technology with this latest approach.
There is a need for trusted, secured, and immutable transactional data transfer. Blockchain act as a peer to peer electronic ledger which verifies shares the information among the partners and customers for seamless operation in a secure way. It can only be updated with the consensus of all the members in the network. Thus trusted collaborations are built among the members
Blockchains for Disaster Recovery
Disaster recovery (DR plans) is a strategy document that contains detailed information about the recovery plans overcoming unpleasant disasters like natural calamities, cyber-attacks, power supply cuts, etc. DR plans are time-consuming and expensive to build. But in the future, Blockchains can be used as an alternative technology in this arena.
Blockchains offer inbuilt security and resilience against loss of data or any other failure with a decentralized network. So a centralized infrastructure is not needed for DR plans. Plus it doesn’t allow outside entries in the network thus reducing the risks of attacks.
Blockchain has entered into three IT Core operations:
They are Processing, Storage, and Communication. Blockchains can transform these core processes.
Storage is a major area where blockchains can be helpful. The Traditional storage system stores the data via file storage and database storage. Here blockchain technology can be useful for single computing machine projects to Mega level storage projects such as S3, MongoDB, HDFS, and Cassandra, etc.
File storage can be done in a decentralized way with various components on Ethereum. Interplanetary File system (IPFS) which can manage large amounts of data and publish and share files.
While the current HTTP Protocol can download a single file from a single machine at once whereas IPFS can download multiple files from multiple decentralized nodes simultaneously.
While the HTTP protocol downloads a single file from a single machine at a time, IPFS downloads pieces of a file from multiple decentralized machines simultaneously.
Swarm is another decentralized approach, similar to IPFS on the Ethereum platform. It offers mostly storage of files and communication but not as simple as IPFS.
Whereas Filecoin is another decentralized storage network that has another approach for usage and storage of data. It allows using traditional storage with a blockchain layer. Furthermore, it converts the cloud storage into an algorithmic market space where users can bid for space and even can monitor their usage space.
Blockchain Databases like BigChainDB allow the existing databases to have large scale data storage with an efficient data track record with additional blockchain-based processing support and accountability.
This project is still under trial mode with more expected improvements. ObitDB is another distributed database for storage of the database
In traditional computing systems, the central processing units (CPUs) & Graphics processing units(GPUs) handle the processing of data (including the modern cloud-based distributing processing) using algorithms, various tools, and models. Processing functions can be done using three decentralized platforms including Ethereum, Hyper ledger Fabric, and Corda.
All three platforms have their specific characteristics and can be used accordingly. Ethereum platform is a generic platform for public or private use, so it has wide applications across industries. Whereas Hyper ledger Fabric is a modular platform only for private use. And the Corda platform is a specialized platform for the financial industry. Monax and Aeternity are providing new alternatives for Ethereum as well.
Most of the block-based projects use Ethereum or other platforms to handle logical data processing and verification of data.
Rather than harming the existing protocols TCP/IP and HTTP which fortify the majority of online communication, blockchains are in the process to create standards for communication.
Some of the projects discussed below have great potential to alter and simplify the entire process.
Interledger protocol (ILP) — aims to connect various cryptocurrencies.
Cosmos — aims to develop an internet of blockchains with a focus on token exchange
Polkadot — aims to build parachains for finalization of transactions
Interplanetary Database (IPDB) — aims to build a network of databases with no single ownership
Challenges in Implementing Blockchain Technology
Scalability and Storage
While the implementation of blockchain technology is easier and simpler, it poses certain challenges mainly in scalability and storage issues.
In blockchain technology, the chain is ever-growing which demands heavy storage resources. The growth in return reduces the scaling capacity of the system i.e. the computing rate of the system per second. Also, it consistently creates and stores copies of the data automatically.
For example: in Bitcoin, the chain grows at a rate of 1 MB/block.
Secondly, the ever-expanding chain also hampers performance. For the new users, it takes more time to synchronize with the system.
Data Confidentiality and Data Control Challenge
Though blockchains are decentralized in nature, some of the blockchain implementations face a breach in data security. But if the blockchain is fully encrypted, it ensures full security against any malfunction.
Anonymity and Privacy of data
In Public blockchains, sensitive data is vulnerable at times and the anonymity of the users could be at risk. But various encryption solutions are available for specific platforms.
To overcome the faults in blockchain technology, many firms are providing customized solutions to the systems.