When we hear the word “blockchain” many of us think about “cryptocurrency”. At least initially. However, the blockchain technology actually has many more uses. One of them could be beneficial for data centers.
There are interesting options, for sure. But first, a little bit about the blockchain technology. Blockchains basically store information in small pieces (blocks). They record the transactions between the users or other interactions to the database. The database itself is spread among many devices (the chain). Any changes to the blocks are tracked by the chain and the blockchain is basically a digital ledger that cannot be corrupted without everyone knowing immediately.
So, what about data centers and blockchain?
In its basic definition a blockchain doesn’t really seem needed for a data center. However, data centers are evolving and the rise of various cloud services brings new requirements and needs for them.
A blockchain doesn’t have to use a global structure with devices all over the place. You can set it up in a data center, too. This can bring some initial benefits like better security and faster data retrieval. It can also improve the security when storing sensitive customer data.
A blockchain can also simplify the data center infrastructure a bit, making it more transparent and easier to track, log, maintain and analyze. This can help data center operators react better and quicklier to events from security issues to upgrade needs.
Offering a blockchain service is also future-proof. If we believe the prediction of many companies that blockchain apps and services will have a big market share and influence, then having a data center which offers support and services for blockchain apps, is a good thing.
What about possible issues?
Of course, integrating a blockchain into a data center will bring its own set of new challenges. This is not a one-and-done type of upgrade. The blockchain technology will continue to evolve and these new improvements will have to be implemented as needed into your setup.
And while a blockchain is generally a lot safer, it’s not 100% bulletproof. As such, some different approaches to security will be needed as well as honing specific skills for the data center staff.
Blockchain users generally tend to expect better security from this technology. This means higher expectations from the data center as well, if it uses a blockchain. And the blockchain is still in its infancy. There’s a lot more innovations and possibilities that are going to happen in the future.
In an earlier news release Cisco notes that 60% of executives believe that by 2025 10% of the global GDP will be stored in a blockchain. And that the blockchain is a way for institutions to restore trust. For that, it’s expected that just as enterprises slowly started to get into the cloud and now love it, the same will happen with the blockchain technology. After the initial skepticism, enterprises will gradually warm up to the blockchain idea and this will force cloud providers to adapt their data centers. So, maybe it’s better to start looking towards this earlier and be ready when the snowball really gains momentum.