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VMware正式推出企业区块链平台

2020-11-20 15:20

 

VMware区块链几年来一直在努力,今天宣布它已经商业化了。但它已经被用于一些重要的项目。其中之一是澳大利亚证券交易所(ASX)象棋结算解决方案。最初这使用的是数字资产的区块链,但账本现在是VMware的数字资产的智能合同语言DAML。


VMware公司区块链副总裁兼总经理Brendon Howe表示:“我们一直致力于构建一个企业级区块链平台,该平台能够满足金融服务行业最严格的应用需求,以及其他需要可靠和高性能区块链服务的关键任务分布式工作负载。”


虽然企业区块链领域还很年轻,但在采用方面已经有了一些明确的技术领先者。他们是Hyperledger Fabric及其最大的推动者IBM、enterprise Ethereum和R3的Corda。那么VMware能成为领导者吗?如果能,如何成为领导者?


首先,VMware区块链解决了面包和黄油期望。该公司谈到了企业分布式账本技术(DLT)解决方案通常需要的特性:可扩展性、安全性和私密性、性能和可伸缩性。它说,可伸缩性和性能部分是其内部创建的共识机制——可伸缩拜占庭容错(SBFT)的结果。


VMware已经将账本语言与智能合同语言解耦,并使用了Digital Asset的DAML。但是DAML现在支持许多其他账本,所以这不是VMware所独有的。VMware还支持其他智能契约语言,包括Ethereum的虚拟机。有趣的是,它说它可以在同一个账本上运行不同的虚拟机。换句话说,使用相同账本的应用程序不需要使用相同的智能合同语言。


它说,要启动和运行,它很容易部署、管理和升级,并拥有世界一流的支持。后一点很有趣,因为支持对于enterprise区块链至关重要。也就是说,IBM和R3在这个部门都不是懒虫。

与数字资产的亲密关系


VMware最显著的优势之一似乎是它与数字资产的共生关系。当DAML第一次开源时,它能够宣布VMware作为区块链的初始集成。有了VMware的品牌,这当然有助于提高可信度。现在VMware已经投资了Digital Asset,它高调的区块链合作伙伴也是Digital Asset的客户和投资者。


Broadridge Financial Solutions,长期的数字资产投资者和合作伙伴,正在其DLT回购协议解决方案中使用VMware区块链。它高调的咨询合作伙伴是埃森哲,也是数字资产投资者。其他咨询合作伙伴也与这家初创公司共享,包括印孚瑟斯(Infosys)和智欧(Intellect EU)。


由于Digital Asset在ASX和DAML上的领先优势,这家初创公司拥有不少知名客户,包括法国巴黎证券服务公司(BNP Paribas Securities Services)和香港交易所(Hong Kong Exchange)。如果VMware能够在其中的大部分领域取得进展,那么单凭这点就已经很可观了。最大的问题是,它能否独立取得进展。


在这个阶段,有一种观点认为VMware更需要数字资产,而不是数字资产。DAML的整个思想是它能够跨多个账本工作,并成为一种领先的互操作性解决方案。VMware的区块链是众多账本中的一款,尽管目前看来它是首选。


这是一个没有任何特殊知识的局外人的观察。当一家大公司和一家初创公司纠缠在一起,大公司比小公司有更大的需求时,企业考虑收购这家初创公司只是时间问题。

 

VMware Blockchain has been in the works for a couple of years and today it was announced it is commercially available. But it’s already getting used for some substantial projects. One of those is the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) CHESS settlement solution. Originally this used Digital Asset’s blockchain, but the ledger is now VMware’s with Digital Asset’s smart contract language DAML.

“We have been focused on building an enterprise-grade blockchain platform that meets the most stringent application requirements of the financial services industry and other mission-critical distributed workloads that require reliable and high-performance blockchain services,” said Brendon Howe, VP and General Manager, Blockchain, VMware.

While the enterprise blockchain space is still young, there are some definite technology leaders in terms of adoption. They are Hyperledger Fabric and its biggest promoter IBM, enterprise Ethereum and R3’s Corda. So can VMware become one of the leaders, and if so, how? 

First, VMware Blockchain addresses the bread and butter expectations. The company talked about the features usually required of enterprise distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions: extensibility, security and privacy, performance, and scalability. It says that scalability and performance are in part the result of its in-house created consensus mechanism, Scalable Byzantine Fault Tolerance (SBFT). 

VMware has decoupled the ledger from the smart contract language and uses Digital Asset’s DAML. But DAML now supports numerous other ledgers, so this is not unique to VMware. Other smart contract languages are supported by VMware, including Ethereum’s virtual machine. Interestingly, it says it can run different virtual machines on the same ledger. In other words, apps that use the same ledger do not need to use the same smart contract language.

To get up and running, it says it’s easy to deploy, manage and upgrade, and has world class support. This latter point is an interesting one because support is crucial for enterprise blockchain. That said, neither IBM nor R3 are slouches in this department.

A cosy relationship with Digital Asset

One of VMware’s most significant advantages seems to be its symbiotic relationship with Digital Asset. When DAML was first open-sourced, it was able to announce VMware as the initial blockchain integration. With VMware’s brand, that certainly contributed credibility. Now VMware has invested in Digital Asset, and its high profile blockchain partners are also Digital Asset clients and investors.

Broadridge Financial Solutions, a long time Digital Asset investor and partner, is using VMware blockchain in its DLT Repurchase Agreement solution. Its high profile consulting partner is Accenture, also a Digital Asset investor. The other consulting partners are also shared with the startup, including Infosys and Intellect EU.

Because of Digital Asset’s head start with ASX and the attractions of DAML, the startup has quite a few high profile clients, including  BNP Paribas Securities Services and the Hong Kong Exchange. If VMware can make inroads with most of those, that alone could be substantial. The big question is whether it will make headway independently. 

At this stage, there’s an argument that VMware needs Digital Asset more than the other way around. The whole idea underlying DAML is its ability to work across multiple ledgers and become a leading interoperability solution. VMware’s Blockchain is one of many ledgers, although it appears to be a preferred one for now.

Here’s an outsider observation without any special knowledge. When a large company and a startup become intertwined, and the bigger one has a greater need than the smaller one, it’s just a matter of time before the enterprise considers buying the startup.

 

来自: Ledger Insights