project blockchain It may still be in beta mode, but it could soon change the way applications and systems are designed, moving from an architecture maintained by individual organizations to architectures where applications and data are shared and secured across multiple entities – in essence, a truly decentralized form of computing.
There is a lot Cloud service providers There is, but more companies data centers. Are all these data centers—with infinite amounts of untapped computing power—an untapped reservoir of cloud computing power that could flatten the cloud ecosystem?
erupted a word from Kate Colbert, VMware’s chief technology officer, who sees a much more decentralized future than it is now. I recently had the opportunity to sit with Colbert at VMware’s recent Explore conference in San Francisco last week, where he described the factors that open up the field of enterprise computing.
Colbert said that the emerging scenario is applications built on blockchain or distributed ledger technologies, with their potential to enable trust between many participants. He said: “Enterprise blockchain fits very well with what we are heading towards.
The focus today is on distributed applications that are built and run using cloud-native or Kubernetes-based building blocks. However, the momentum is now moving away from distributed building towards decentralization He referred to the environments. Distributed architectures are supported by a single entity, but decentralized architectures are supported across multiple organizations.
Photo: Joe McKendrick
While both architectures support multiple instances of applications and a common database, he explained, “The big difference is that in a decentralized architecture, some of these instances will be run by different companies, as opposed to a single organization.”
This means that these organizations “probably will not fully trust each other,” Colbert added. “And that’s where blockchain comes in, to support this kind of use case.”
While blockchain-based decentralized systems still represent a small part of VMware’s offering, Colbert said he expects this to increase as the technology evolves.
Cloud computing itself is a mixed bag, and it will remain that way. Colbert said that although public cloud computing is a big part of the future for many IT plans, there is still a place for on-premises environments.
“Even if a business was born in the cloud, or moved to the cloud, we see a lot of cases where things are moved back. A lot of times you find that in terms of cost, compliance, security, region or sovereignty, you might want to keep things in place. Putting everything in the public cloud is not the right way to move forward, keeping everything on-premises is not the right way to move forward. Instead, the way to be smart about it is to say, “Okay, what are the requirements for the application? And what is the best place to run to meet all these requirements? “
From a data center perspective, technologies are now positioned to support network-like cloud resources, leveraging not only cloud provider resources, but shared private data center capabilities that are available in an open marketplace as well—Airbnb’s kind of computing capacity. This includes the ability to “run a virtual machine that can be protected from administrator access,” Colbert said. “We can cryptographically enforce this, which we couldn’t do a few years ago, thanks to fundamental changes in processors.”
VMware once experimented with “cloud exchange” where unused capacity inside corporate data centers could be sold on the open market. Colbert said the project was a learning experience for the company, and helped identify potential problems.
It was conducted between the cloud provider and VMware platform partners, and the main problem encountered during the trial was security – moving data to unknown locations. “We cannot write any unencrypted data to a hard drive owned by another customer,” Colbert said. “That’s a red line – we have to have encryption. We also have to have some way of preventing the operator from accessing the virtual machine or its data, both at runtime and at rest.”
The security guarantee also introduces “responsibility issues for customer operators,” he continued. “They’re not going to want to sign off on compensation clauses, and a whole bunch of legal and other things we might get caught up in as well.”
Colbert also spoke about the changing role of his profession Chief Technology Officer, which often overlaps with those of CIOs and Digital Chiefs. “CTO is one of the least well-defined roles in the industry,” he said. “It could be a VP of engineering, a super sales engineer, an outsider type of person, an evangelist, a product leader…or you could be an individual contributor, like an influencer, an architect.”
Colbert oversees innovation, ESG, as well as the core platforms and services that support vendor business units. Additionally, I present the company’s overall technical strategy: ‘This is where we should be heading as a company, and here are the big-picture things we should be doing as a company. “