VMware Launches Blockchain Project

    VMware, at the VMworld 2018 conference, has launched an open source blockchain project that it promises will provide a more efficient approach to processing smart contracts based on distributed ledgers.

    Dubbed Project Concord, the VMware project seeks to accelerate processing of blockchain transactions while at the same time reducing the number of processors required to process those transactions.

    VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger promised attendees that Project Concord would be able to reduce the time it takes to reduce blockchain consensus algorithms that require as many as 80 days down to 2.5 hours.

    Gelsinger also noted that existing blockchain technologies are not especially environmentally friendly in terms of how much heat and carbon dioxide is generated by the processors required to run them.

    “Blockchain today is unconscionable from an environmental perspective,” says Gelsinger.

    At its core, VMware is describing Project Concord as a highly scalable byzantine fault-tolerant secure consensus engine that leverages virtualization technologies to reduce the number of CPUs required. The core engine of Project Concord is concord-bft, a generic state machine replication library that can handle malicious (byzantine) replicas. This library is designed to be used as a core building block for replicated distributed data stores typically associated with permissioned-based blockchain systems, says VMware.

    Interest in employing blockchain technologies as an immutable engine for processing transactions across an extended supply chain is running high. But most organizations are still a long way from employing blockchain technologies within a production application.

    Nevertheless, the prospect of being able to eliminate the cost of relying on third parties such as financial services providers as a middleman for processing business-to-business transactions is attractive. Of course, it remains to be seen how usage of blockchain technologies will play out. But one thing is certain: Every IT vendor now views blockchain technologies to one degree or another as an emerging core platform.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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