Blockchain: it’s another enterprise technology that, as of now, gets talked about more than it gets used. But, at this point, blockchain is less concrete than its name suggests. As opposed to being an actual physical technology, blockchain is a concept often described as “an operating system for data.”
So why does data need its own operating system, and what exactly does it do? It’s all about the ongoing evolution in the way data is stored and deployed. With data center networks pushing their boundaries closer and closer to end users and more and more sensitive data moving across these networks more frequently, the need to maintain the integrity of that data is paramount.
What is blockchain? As opposed to a single centralized location, blockchain is a distributed database that is transaction-based. For use in both public and private applications, the blockchain expands with a new “block” each time a new transfer of data occurs. Because of this structure, blockchains offer no single point of failure or hackable entrance, creating a higher level of security.
One of the most attractive aspects of blockchain technology, especially for highly sensitive and regulated industries like banking, is the unchangeable nature of the transactions. Banking is the industry that has committed the most resources to studying this technology so far. The hope is that it will help create more secure transactions, resulting in less fraud, which will ultimately regain the trust of the public.
Though blockchain is still very much in the development phase, it is interesting to consider what kind of impact it might be able to make on data center and cloud providers. The ability to provide a secure, decentralized environment could potentially help operators more effectively manage capacity and cooling planning, as well as virtualization, those steps still seem to be some time down the road.