VMware today formally entered the blockchain business with the commercial launch of VMware Blockchain, a platform designed to allow enterprises to build networks and deploy decentralized applications.
The new service, several years in the making, offers businesses an extensible and scalable enterprise-grade platform to unlock data silos and to free up data to flow security, privately and instantaneously. The service had previously launched in closed beta in 2018.
Enterprise-level blockchains are not exactly new in 2020 and cutting through the differences between one and another is a challenge. VMware says that its blockchain service offers “Scalable Byzantine Fault Tolerance,” which it describes as an “enterprise-grade consensus engine… designed to solve the problems of scale and performance in blockchain solutions while preserving fault-tolerance and defense against malicious attacks.”
In this case, a consensus engine is a mechanism used to achieve the necessary agreement on a single data value or a single state of the network among distributed processes; its code that makes various data transactions agree. Byzantine Fault Tolerance itself isn’t new, having been designed in the 1990s, but VMware says its implementation is superior in maintaining decentralized trust with support for ongoing governance in multiparty networks.
VMware Blockchain offers a layered architecture said to decouple the ledger from the smart contract language. The blockchain supports DAML, an open-source contract language created by partner Digital Asset Holdings LLC.
The first implementation of VMware Blockchain is on the Australian Stock Exchange Ltd., which has been working with Digital Asset since 2017 on developing a blockchain-based alternative to its CHESS electronics payment system that was implemented in 1995. The implementation at the ASX includes the use of DAML smart contracts for settlements.
“We have been focused on building an enterprise-grade blockchain platform that meets the most stringent application requirements of the financial services industry and other mission-critical distributed workloads that require reliable and high-performance blockchain services,” Brendon Howe, vice president and general manager of blockchain at VMware, said in a statement. “VMware Blockchain delivers to customers the enterprise features they need for production today and the flexibility to adapt to future needs in the rapidly evolving blockchain space.”
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