One of the most groundbreaking pieces of high-tech to arise has been the concept of Blockchain. The conceptualization of Blockchain is most commonly equated to the many forms of digital currency otherwise known as ‘cryptocurrency.’ However, we’re seeing various implementations of these same Blockchain principles throughout the high-tech industry and not just within digital currency.
One thing in life is constant – there will always be change. We all change jobs, houses and cars throughout the course of our existence. In the high-tech space, change is occurring daily and it’s quite an amazing journey to have a hand in. When I was in middle-school my parents bought me my first PC – it was a Compaq Presario to be exact. At that age, I would have never imagined how the evolution of computing would proliferate throughout our everyday lives. I was just a young lad using AOL on a dial-up to connection just trying to do homework and write papers. Never in a million years would I have thought that I’d be so entrenched in technology, as I am now. What a time to be alive!
Blockchain and Cryptohash is Powerful!
In a few of my previous blogs posts (How Datrium Works / Datrium Demo), I introduced Datrium to the community through a series of presentations. Under the covers the Datrium file-system architecture is benefitting from the principles in which Blockchain provides. A few of the important capabilities which Blockchain provides are:
- Data Blocks
- Ledger Decentralization
- Data Integrity
- Cryptographic Hashing
What’s the Problem?
Traditionally, data centers have been architected in an independent fashion. Only within the last few years, since virtualization has become mainstream, has IT truly been able to move workloads around from site to site. The proliferation of public cloud providers like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform as well as local Managed Service Providers has added a piece of complexity to the IT puzzle. The net result, regardless of their size and specific vertical, for most organizations multi-site management is a Hybrid model. This means some applications and workloads will run on-premises and some in the ‘cloud.’
The always-on desire users demand of their applications and data means that they have zero care about where their workload runs or what the underlying componentry looks like. All their worry is related to:
- Is my application available and secure?
- Is my application fast?
- If something breaks, can you fix it for me?
Fortunately, the principles of Blockchain are able to help resolve these challenges.
The Datrium Implementation
On the surface, the Datrium DVX platform may appear as though it’s a hardware only play – which isn’t entirely false – however, the hardware used is commodity. IT is able to leverage any type of compute and networking that they’d like. This brings forth the concept of Open-Converged Infrastructure. The intellectual property within Datrium is solely within the software. This helps us fit with the datacenter stack shift which is occuring. Users are being driven towards one thing: Simplicity. Why would I want to worry about managing complex knobs, dials and checkboxes? This means there’s a ton of room for error. Secondly, how does my Primary Datacenter operate with my Backup & Disaster Recovery Strategy?
The principles of Datrium are simple…Converge Compute, Tier-1 Storage and Data Protection. A quick read of that mission statement would lead me to relate back to the challenges in which IT has been facing – Performance, Scalability, Security and Efficiency. However, reading between the lines and relating back to the capabilities that Blockchain provides would allow you to quickly understand why the high-tech industry is adopting Blockchain in their implementations.
Data blocks are received from an application, quickly – in real-time the Datrium file system is performing a cryptohash of these blocks as well as compressing, deduplicating, encrypting (Blanket Encryption) and erasure coding the data. This process is acheived within a few microseconds and the application receives back its acknowledgement and continues along. The entire platform – On-Premises, Off-Premises (Secondary Site, Colo, etc.) and even the Public Cloud is 100% aware of the general data ledger. The environment is fluid, as applications migrate from host to host (vMotion or SvMotion) or application recovery points are being created (2,000 recovery points per VM) then replicated to the Secondary Site or even to the Public Cloud (AWS only now) the true power of Blockchain becomes apparent. When data is to be transmitted over the wire, Datrium will perform a comparison of cryptohash A to cryptohash B – if the data already exists – guess what, it’s not sent, we simply update the data ledger. If the data is unique it’s transmitted over the wire.
In the end you’re left with an ultra fast user experience where all of your data is secure, data efficiencies are leveraged on-premises and off-premises. I didn’t even mention the fact that each recovery point is stored in a completely separate namespace than the primary data where each recovery point is inspected many times per day for integrity with zero performance impact. In comparison to more complex solutions – Always-On Data Integrity – is simple and requires zero user interaction, it just happens!
That’s Blockchain and how Datrium’s implementing this technology principle to change the way which infrastructure will be delivered.