So What’s With the Blockchain Craze?
It used to be that only the people involved in cryptocurrency, banking or investing concerned themselves with the ins and outs of the record-keeping technology known as “blockchain”. The explosion of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin into the mainstream eye has meant that blockchain has become an inescapable phenomenon even to a “non-tech” audience. And for good reason! The cryptocurrency market has just hit an all-time high value of $2 trillion, with the most popular Bitcoin making up $1.1 trillion of that pie.
What Really Is Blockchain?
A blockchain is an information-recording system in the form of a digital ledger of transactions that is decentralised. Its unique value lies in the lack of need for clearance by a central authority as well as its imperviousness to cheating or hacking. Blockchain has already found applications in fund transfers and trade settling. Its potential use in voting is also extremely promising.
What is Data Virtualization?
Having touched on the concept and applications of blockchain in the blog, it is now the turn of data virtualization to take the spotlight. In a nutshell, data virtualization is a modern development in data integration that allows for the real-time consumption of data by aggregating disparate data sources into a single virtual data layer.
In an enterprise context, data virtualization on its own has several benefits:
- Data Discovery and Retrieval
The process of searching for and discovering interrelated data is made smooth by data virtualization. Since a connection is made to original data sources in real-time, applications can find and procure the most current version of the data.
- Comparative Performance Analysis
Businesses can benchmark performance based on previous years’ levels and compare current levels against them. The benchmarking itself is allowed to be systematic, follow best practices, and integrate feedback.
- Cloud Applications
On-premises applications can be migrated to the cloud. This allows for the creation of one centralized repository or database for clarity and ease of access.
- Monetizing Data
Data can be delivered as a service and monetized in this way. Data virtualization provides the structure for data to be made valuable by enhancing data quality.
- Regulatory Compliance
Every organization has a set of guidelines they are mandated to follow. Data virtualization enables the traceability of historical data which is required by such regulations.
- Business Application Modernization
Legacy systems that are in need of replacement can be phased out and replaced with modern business applications. The result is the modernization of information infrastructure without any disruption to existing business processes.
How are Blockchain and Data Virtualization Related?
We have already gone over the wonders that Blockchain and Data Virtualization can separately do for businesses. Finally, it’s time for our two heroes to join forces. As such, two patterns can be found of blockchain and data virtualization technologies working together:
- Pattern 1
Data is delivered by data virtualization to the blockchain ecosystem. All data sources are pooled together at a large scale and this data is provisioned to the blockchain ecosystem. Virtualization has proven to be the key to such a blockchain project’s success.
- Pattern 2
The data virtualization layer hosts the blockchain database as a source within it where blockchain data can merge with other contextual data in the business. The blockchain database is leveraged in this way for reporting and analytics.
A successful example of this has been the American FMCG company McCormick which has adopted data virtualization to deploy a blockchain collaboration program with a view to better controlling food quality. This case study can be read in its entirety here.
What is STL’s Involvement in Virtualization?
As pioneers in the data and network virtualization space, STL believes that boxed solutions with interfaces that are proprietary are a thing of the past. Not only is the cost of maintenance, but they are inflexible and an impediment to launching new services.
Vendor-neutral 5G & FTTx solutions are the name of the game and STL realises this better than anyone. Our answer to this new-age demand is PODS.
PODS stands for Programmable, Open, Disaggregated Solutions.
Networks can be managed effectively and new services can be launched swiftly by custodians owing to programmability at both: hardware and software levels.
Automation can be brought on by true vendor-neutrality, which in turn is enabled by the use of open API and community-defined interfaces.
Networking complexities can be bypassed and services can be launched swiftly because of the hardware and software separation at different levels.
5G and FTTx can be deployed at a large scale with our solutions ranging from fibre to wireless connectivity.
These solutions have been developed by STL in conjunction with its partners and open communities. It achieves vendor neutrality in its networks by taking advantage of cloud-based technologies.
STL’s collaboration with such open communities as ORAN, ONF, TIP, ONAP has yielded many virtualized and open-source solutions. Some of these are:
The common theme to all these solutions remains to make use of cloud technology to present software-defined networks that are vendor-neutral. The ultimate aim is to achieve quickness in the large-scale deployment of FTTx and 5G solutions.
The impact that STL continues to create with these curated solutions for telcos and end-users alike speaks for itself. Armed with an arsenal of revolutionary technologies in the digital networks space, STL remains committed to transforming people’s lives the world over. These efforts are consistently recognized in publications and rankings such as BCG’s 100 Tech Challengers of 2020.