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Blockchain & Data Virtualization: Heavenly Match

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We discuss the following topics in this blog:

  1. The dramatic surge in the Blockchain craze.
  2. Understanding blockchain and data virtualisation.
  3. Relation between Blockchain and Data Virtualization.
  4. STL’s Involvement in Virtualization.

In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:

  1. What is WiFi?
  2. What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
Blockchain and Data Virtualization

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.

Blockchain and data virtualisation - How it works

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.

  • Programmable

Networks can be managed effectively and new services can be launched swiftly by custodians owing to programmability at both: hardware and software levels.

  • Open

Automation can be brought on by true vendor-neutrality, which in turn is enabled by the use of open API and community-defined interfaces.

  • Disaggregated

Networking complexities can be bypassed and services can be launched swiftly because of the hardware and software separation at different levels.

  • Solutions

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.

FAQs

What is WiFi?

Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.

To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).

What is an Optical Fibre Cable?

An optical fibre cable is a cable type that has a few to hundreds of optical fibres bundled together within a protective plastic coating. They help carry digital data in the form of light pulses across large distances at faster speeds. For this, they need to be installed or deployed either underground or aerially. Standalone fibres cannot be buried or hanged so fibres are bunched together as cables for the transmission of data. This is done to protect the fibre from stress, moisture, temperature changes and other externalities.

There are three main components of a optical fibre cable, core (It carries the light and is made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2) with dopants such as germania, phosphorous pentoxide, or alumina to raise the refractive index; Typical glass cores range from as small as 3.7um up to 200um), Cladding (Cladding surrounds the core and has a lower refractive index than the core, it is also made from the same material as the core; 1% refractive index difference is maintained between the core and cladding; Two commonly used diameters are 125µm and 140µm) and Coating (Protective layer that absorbs shocks, physical damage and moisture; The outside diameter of the coating is typically either 250µm or 500µm; Commonly used material for coatings are acrylate,Silicone, carbon, and polyimide).

An optical fibre cable is made up of the following components: Optical fibres – ranging from one to many. Buffer tubes (with different settings), for protection and cushioning of the fibre. Water protection in the tubes – wet or dry. A central strength member (CSM) is the backbone of all cables. Armoured tapes for stranding to bunch the buffer tubes and strength members together. Sheathing or final covering to provide further protection.

The five main reasons that make this technology innovation disruptive are fast communication speed, infinite bandwidth & capacity, low interference, high tensile strength and secure communication. The major usescases of optical fibre cables include intenet connectivity, computer networking, surgery & dentistry, automotive industry, telephony, lighting & decorations, mechanical inspections, cable television, military applications and space.

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