Understanding the uses of blockchain in data centers
As with any trend, blockchain technology has its share of pros and cons, especially in the context of the data center. However, the growing influence of blockchain can provide organizations with a competitive edge when applied appropriately.
Today, blockchain technology is one of the biggest trends in the industry. According to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Blockchain Survey, 81% of senior executives at large organizations said they believe blockchain technology is widely scalable and has been widely adopted. Additionally, 78% also indicated that their leadership teams believe there is a compelling business case for using blockchain within their organization, and 80% are discussing how to incorporate it into their strategies. current.
Recent blockchain technology
Blockchain is a highly secure and immutable record keeping technology. Bad actors cannot break into the system or tamper with the data stored there. This distributed ledger technology records transactions and related data in multiple places at the same time, avoiding a single point of failure and validating every piece of information it stores.
Compared to traditional databases that store data in rows, columns, tables, and files, a blockchain is decentralized and managed by computers in a peer-to-peer network. It stores data in chained blocks; during a transaction, each block of data is sent to each computing node on the network, where it is authorized and then securely attached to the blockchain. Once added, a block cannot be modified.
The validation process ensures that the data is unique and legitimate with timestamps to prove it. If someone tries to swap a block, copy it, or change its state, the network of computers that make up the blockchain immediately receives an alert, and no one can add new blocks to the chain until the problem is solved. is not resolved.
Security is by far the biggest benefit of blockchain, followed by resilience. Each block is permanently reconciled by a network of computers. If one node fails, it cannot shut down the whole system because all other nodes have a copy of the registry.
There are several types of blockchains and a variety of uses across industries. The financial industry is currently leading the adoption of blockchain because of how the technology can simplify the transaction process and lock it down as well.
How Blockchain is Transforming Data Center Architecture
When it comes to data center architecture, blockchain takes a different approach to data storage.
Blockchain uses decentralization to manage and store data. The blockchain network may consist of tens, hundreds or thousands of computers distributed around the world in various locations. For a blockchain breach to be successful, hackers would have to take down multiple computers on the network – and even then, the blockchain data storage is encrypted, minimizing the security risk.
These advantages directly compete with traditional data center storage. Data centers house huge amounts of data in one place. This centralization exposes them to the risk of natural disasters and blackouts in the local area. To add some redundancy and prevent data loss, organizations can copy data and store it in other locations; however, this process can be time-consuming and costly, and it creates a surplus of information that also needs to be protected.
Blockchain data storage can provide higher levels of security, reliability, redundancy, resiliency, and transparency. Its distributed nature allows users to have a higher degree of control over where they store their data, which also affects accessibility and availability.
That said, accessibility and availability can become a detractor of the decentralized approach. To recover a block of data, the various nodes of the network must synchronize, validate and extract the block; this can take a long time, depending on node locations and loads. Traditional data centers can offer much faster speeds and higher levels of data availability.
Blockchain security, while quite advanced, is also not perfect. As more users adopt the technology, bad actors will get better at finding and exploiting holes in blockchains. For now, however, it offers much better data security compared to internal and cloud storage.
Finally, cost is an important factor that determines whether organizations can choose to adopt blockchain. Although blockchain is becoming more popular every day, it is still not widely deployed by organizations – at least not on the same level as cloud storage, which is cheap and available in many forms today.
How Data Centers Can Stay Ahead
For data center teams looking for a blockchain approach, start by reassessing the data center infrastructure. Think about how to pivot resources and start implementing and evolving towards a decentralized architecture. Start thinking about how to set up a peer-to-peer network that can handle a blockchain workflow.
The rise of blockchain also requires more reliable power, high-performance equipment that can quickly process blocks of data, and more intensive cooling to prevent this equipment from overheating during intense calculations. The faster users can write and commit blocks, the better. So be sure to consider these requirements and invest accordingly.
The traditional data center architecture must fundamentally transform to meet blockchain demand for traffic and availability, including having staff with specialized blockchain skills. This presents a great business; but, by planning now, organizations can keep pace with growing data processing needs and adapt to customer needs as they adopt new business strategies to integrate blockchain.