In a traditional IT scenario, data is stored in a central location. Users rely on a trusted central authority for retrieving information, updating data, and expect the authority not to modify the data with malicious intent. Often, it is not possible to find a single entity that all users can trust, which never fails, and which cannot be compromised.

Blockchain Overview

Blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger enabling parties who might not necessarily trust each other to validate data in a series of cryptographically linked data structures called blocks. With blockchain, a new system is possible where each network participant maintains a local copy of the ledger they can independently validate. All parties use a consensus protocol to communicate and validate subsequent ledger updates, which fully distributes and decentralizes trust.

The cryptographically linked data structure stored by each participant is append-only. After data is verified and added to a block, the network does not allow the data to be deleted, only appended. Each block consisting of ledger transactions is cryptographically linked or chained to the previous block using a cryptographic hash function. This feature makes the blockchain auditable in addition to having the property of being independently verifiable by all network participants.

Blockchains are designed to support the following operational models, permissionless (public) or permissioned.

Table 1. Differences Between Permissioned and Permissionless Blockchain

Permissionless or Public

Permissioned

Users are anonymous or pseudonymous.

Users are known and trusted.

No authorization is required to initiate transactions.

Users with appropriate permissions can initiate transactions.

Anyone can participate as a miner to create blocks in the blockchain.

Users sign in using cryptography technology and participate in the consensus process to create blocks in the blockchain.

Anyone can read the transaction data in the shared public ledger.

Select users control the transaction data validation.

VMware Blockchain Overview

VMware Blockchain offers a decentralized trust platform that removes the need to rely on a central data repository, which is a single point of failure. VMware Blockchain is a permissioned distributed trust platform implemented using a Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) State Machine Replication system.

The BFT system allows the Client nodes to access a single, consistent, and trusted data repository called the state. The State Machine executes requests that change the state. The underlying cryptographic technology, which is used to implement a fault-tolerant platform provides the Client node access to the State Machine data. Client nodes can query the Replica Network to retrieve a subset of the state. The Replica Network controls the data a particular Client node can access.

The fault-tolerant platform consists of a Replica Network that uses a consensus mechanism to implement a BFT State Machine Replication protocol. This protocol ensures the consistency of the data even in environments where less than one-third of the Replica nodes are down, not synchronous, or even malicious.

The Replica nodes should operate in an isolated fault domain under the same data center or even in a different data center belonging to different partners in the network, which dramatically increases the fault tolerance.

VMware Blockchain is an on-premises solution. You can use the VMware Blockchain Orchestrator application to create a blockchain deployment that consists of Replica and Client nodes. VMware Blockchain Orchestrator allows you to configure the deployment parameters such as location of nodes, Client node grouping, and set up monitoring and logging for all the deployed VMware Blockchain nodes. ​

VMware Blockchain uses the Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML) to implement decentralized applications (DApps), and a DAML Execution Engine (DAMLe) to run the application commands within the VMware Blockchain nodes.

VMware Blockchain Implementation Use Case

The main VMware Blockchain use case includes:

Sector

Use Case

Financial services

  • Settlement and clearing for a variety of assets. For example, equities, bonds, and repurchase agreements.

  • Provide multi-party workflows for DAML-based DApps.