Awhile ago I wrote a frustrated post after being pitched some blockchain-enriched solutions. Blockchain fashion show, blockchain toothpaste, blockchain animal supplements, it seems everything that can be sold, is a candidate for blockchainization.

The pity about this all is that the buzzwords and opportunistic use of blockchain for situations in which it (arguably) has no place to be used, reduce the impact of situations where blockchain can absolutely add value. One of the companies that I’m involved with, 1Centre is in the business of making business-to-business trade occur more easily. For 1Centre, Blockchain absolutely is a relevant and applicable technology.

But the idea of a distributed ledger is also applicable to less obvious use cases and Sazzala Reddy, co-founder of Datrium, is keen to push awareness of its applicability to IT infrastructure. According to Reddy, IT infrastructure providers are leveraging blockchain technology because although blockchain ledgers are always public, blockchain technology verifies and encrypts its data using advanced cryptography, making it less prone to being hacked or changed without authorization. In other words, because block chain is rooted in providing the immutability and integrity of its data as it moves around the globe, it’s a compelling alternative to securing the identity of online consumers and services.

Reddy points to other examples including in the adjacent identity management space where companies like Okta are looking to Blockchain to make identity flows more efficient. Reddy’s own company, Datrium is doing similarly within their own platform – using Blockchain to secure and authenticate their globally distributed object store.

In particular, Datrium’s open convergence software uses a global deduping technology so data can’t be accidentally or maliciously altered since its last backup. According to Reddy, using the concepts of block chain tech to democratize the building of a globally distributed object store, makes it ideal for modern hybrid cloud infrastructures.

As is the case with block chain technology, Datrium’s technology is designed with data integrity at its core. All data is divided into smaller pieces and stored on disk and there is a crypto-hash computed for each of these pieces of data.  So, each virtual machine’s (VM) data translates into a list of crypto-hashes that represents a VM at any point in time.  So, when the VM changes its data, so does the list. And like blockchain, Datrium promises to ensure that corrupted data is quickly identified.

MyPOV

It’s super early for blockchain applications outside cryptocurrencies but, while dubious about these early crypto offerings, I’m pretty certain that blockchain, or something like it, will be applied successfully to a raft of different areas in which decentralization and ultimate-proof can drive benefits. Whether Datrium is too early remains to be seen, but for now, they’re on an interesting journey.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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