True Enterprise File Sharing and Access with Filr

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You need to keep your files and systems secure, however, your users may be sharing and storing files on cloud sharing solutions that are not secure and are not managed by your organization. There needs to be a balance between the functionality that your end users want and the security that your organization needs. IT, …

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Developing Blockchain Applications based on Hyperledger Fabric with Alibaba Cloud Container …

Blockchain has drawn more and more attention worldwide in recent years. Developers, enterprises, universities, research institutes, and governmental organizations have all been engaged in blockchain technology research and exploration. In recent years, an increasing number of blockchain-based innovative service scenarios have emerged in various sectors, such as, digital bills, asset custodian, logistics and shipping, food and drug safety and tracing, charity, and digital content copyright.

The popularity of blockchain can be attributed to its underlying technology; blockchain by nature is an anti-tampering, shared, and distributed ledger. Based on the distributed consensus algorithm, smart contract, and encryption algorithm, blockchain allows transactions in the absence of credit. Currently, there are multiple blockchain implementation technologies in the industry. In the open source field, Hyperledger projects under the Linux Foundation are most influential, especially Hyperledger Fabric blockchain framework implementation. Based on a modular architecture, Hyperledger Fabric is designed for enterprise-level blockchain applications and solutions with excellent scalability, high availability, and security.

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In regard to support for blockchain applications and solutions, Hyperledger provides a series of documents, examples, tools, and strong community support, helping you set up a blockchain development environment locally.

Challenges of Blockchain Deployment in a Cloud Environment

However, it is not easy to deploy and configure blockchain in an enterprise-level distributed environment or cloud environment. It involves configuration and calling of blockchain tools, design of blockchain network topology, safe distribution of certificates and keys, high availability of components and services, auto scaling of the service processing capability, and data persistence. Therefore, developers must have deep understanding of the blockchain technology, and professional and complete enterprise infrastructure and resource services are required.

In addition, the process of blockchain configuration and deployment involves massive configuration objects, which are complex and associated with each other. Due to high error rates, frequent end-to-end tests are required to ensure correct configuration and deployment of blockchain, which takes hours or even days. In this case, developers are unable to focus on application development and business innovation, terribly affecting quick iteration and deployment of applications and solutions.

Alibaba Cloud Container Service Blockchain Solution

In response to these pain points and demands, the Alibaba Cloud Container Service team released a solution for automatic blockchain configuration and deployment at the 2017 Computing Conference ¨C Hangzhou Summit. The solution has been released on Alibaba Cloud’s domestic site.

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The Container Service Blockchain Solution for Alibaba Cloud’s international site is currently in public beta. The Blockchain Solution is a convenient and flexible basic general-purpose solution. It is mainly used to develop and test blockchain applications and solutions, lowering requirements and improving the efficiency of blockchain use for developers. The solution has the following advantages:

  1. Agility requirements of development and test environments are satisfied, and the deployment time is reduced from days to minutes.
  2. Configuration data is automatically generated, avoiding manual mistakes.
  3. Built-in best practices are available, allowing you to configure and deploy blockchain networks in one step without reworking.

The following compares manual blockchain configuration and deployment with blockchain configuration and deployment by using the blockchain solution in regard to time consumption:

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The following figure shows the process of using the Blockchain Solution of Alibaba Cloud Container Service:

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In the blockchain solution diagram, we extract critical parameters for developers to customize and provide standard default values to help developers. When you click the Deploy Blockchain Network button, at the underlying layer, the blockchain solution automatically sets massive complex parameters, calls tools, generates templates, distributes certificates and files, and deploys blockchain. Developers only need to wait minutes before obtaining a new custom blockchain network. With the blockchain solution, developers can easily create an efficient and flexible closed loop of development and accelerate development iteration despite frequent and variable demands from the market and users.

After the deployment of blockchain networks, developers can access the blockchain networks through the CLI, SDK, or blockchain management and monitoring tools to develop and test blockchain applications and solutions. The blockchain solution allows HyperLedger Fabric-based SDKs and management and monitoring tools (for example, Hyperledger Explorer or third-party implementation) to directly access services on blockchain networks.

In addition, to improve the efficiency of application and tool configuration, we provide sample programs and tools to demonstrate how to download all blockchain network configuration data at one click to quickly and seamlessly connect applications and tools to blockchain networks. On the other hand, these SDKs and blockchain management and monitoring tools can be deployed either remotely or on an Alibaba Cloud Container Service cluster.

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Summary

As a blockchain solution deployment platform, an Alibaba Cloud Container Service cluster ensures enterprise-level powerful functions and reliability, and supports deployment of tens of thousands of production-level containers on public clouds with rich experience in enterprise-level container service R&D and O&M as well as a lot of best practices in application containerization. In addition, complete Alibaba Cloud basic resources and services provide strong support for building an all-round and full-lifecycle blockchain enterprise application solution so that developers and enterprises can implement one-stop planning, purchase, configuration, development, release, and O&M.

About Alibaba Cloud Container Service Team

“A little step makes a thousand miles, and a little stream makes a great ocean.”

The Blockchain Solution is Alibaba Cloud Container Service team’s first step into the blockchain field. With the blockchain ecosystem, we need to promote implementation of blockchain applications and commercial popularization of blockchain on clouds. We hope that developers can actively provide feedback on requirements for and improvement and suggestions on functions to help improve and upgrade our blockchain solution. We also hope that our partners can forge more comprehensive Blockchain-as-a-Service and more industry-oriented blockchain business solutions based on this basic solution.

In the future, we will continuously improve deployment of public clouds, VPCs, and hybrid clouds, and further cover Alibaba Cloud Chinese and international sites.

To learn more about this solution, visit the Container Service Blockchain Solution documentation page.

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Google to add blockchain technology to its cloud platform

Google has partnered with a number of distributed ledger technology (DLT) startups to bring blockchain technology to its cloud platform.

The company announced in a blog post it has partnered with Digital Asset and BlockApps to integrate blockchain solutions into its cloud services.

Google said customers will be able to test open source integrations for Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum later this year through its Google Cloud Product Marketplace.

Digital Asset stated that its partnership with Google Cloud will allow developers to access a comprehensive set of tools to build blockchain applications on demand.

“We are delighted to innovate with Digital Asset in the distributed ledger space,” said Google Cloud head of financial services Leonard Law.

“DLT has great potential to benefit customers, not just in the financial services industry, but across many industries – and we’re excited to bring these developer tools to Google Cloud.”

Now read: Alphabet soars as Google rakes in advertising revenue

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Google to Offer Distributed Ledger Solutions in Cloud Platform Marketplace

Google is joining the list of tech giants to deploy blockchain technology to offer customers fintech and cloud service solutions, according to an official statement Monday, July 23.

Google announced that the company has partnered with two blockchain-focused firms, Digital Asset and BlockApps, to offer new distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions on Google’s Cloud Platform (GCP), which would allow users to “explore ways [customers] might use distributed ledger technology frameworks.”

Digital Asset is a supplier of distributed ledger software for the fintech industry, while BlockApps offers a blockchain platform to launch decentralized apps (DApps).

In the statement “Building a better cloud with our partners at Next ‘18,” ahead of Google’s Cloud Next ’18 conference, the company specified that later on this year, customers will be able to test out open-source integrations for Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum (ETH) protocols in the GCP Marketplace service.

Digital Asset CEO Blythe Masters noted that that the upcoming solution would “reduce the technical barriers to DLT application development,” according to a Computerworld report July 23.

With the new partnerships, Google joins other high-profile tech companies with blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) offerings, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle Amazon Web Services (AWS), which introduced its blockchain platform for DApps in April 2018.

In March, Google announced it would start blocking crypto-related ads of all sorts in June 2018, following the move of Facebook social media giant, which recently reversed the ban on cryptocurrency ads.

On July 8, Google co-founder Sergey Brin revealed that he is Ethereum miner. Speaking at the Blockchain Summit in Morocco Brin said that mining Ethereum was a “side hustle,” and that cryptocurrencies are “mind-boggling.”

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Oracle’s New Blockchain Cloud Service Gets Wide Acceptance

Tech giant Oracle has officially launched its long awaited blockchain service, and several international organizations have already embraced the platform.

News about the company’s new blockchain platform surfaced in May this year. During the time, Thomas Kurin, Oracle’s president of product development gave details on how this new platform would be integrated with the company’s other existing technologies.

The Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service provides its users a safe environment to establish and test their own networks. Additionally, users will be able to easily install Oracle’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and other third-party applications.

Included in its platform, Oracle provides its users the opportunity to program and test smart contracts capable of querying the ledger, including joining other organizations, or even acquire blockchain networks.

The executive vice president of Oracle Cloud Platform, Amit Zavery, noted “We are excited to announce the availability of Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service. It is the result of years of R&D alongside our valued partners and customers. With Oracle’s platform, enterprises can enhance their business, eliminate unnecessary processes, and transact with their distributed networks more easily, transparently and securely than ever before.”

The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric is the base for Oracle’s new platform, and this is the reason why the application development process was quicker, especially the setup. The platform comprises of identity management, REST proxy, event services, container lifecycle management and all the underlying infrastructure dependencies.

Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director at Hyperledger, stated:

“Based on Hyperledger Fabric, Oracle’s platform, with its support for interoperability with non-Oracle Hyperledger Fabric instances, will help build further support for open standards and interoperability, while illustrating how quickly, easily and securely businesses can begin utilizing blockchain to improve business processes.”

Oracle is also launching new SaaS blockchain applications, which will enable users to conduct tasks including track and trace, warranty and usage, provenance identification, and cold chain.

Some of the international organizations that are already using the Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service include CargoSmart, Arab Jordan Investment Bank, Certified Origins, Intelipost, Indian Oil, MTO, Nigeria Customs, Neurosoft, Solar Site Design, Sofbang and TradeFin.

CargoSmart’s CEO, Steve Siu, noted that his firm plans on using the platform to simplify the shipping company’s complicated processes. He added:

“The comprehensive nature of Oracle’s blockchain cloud platform has allowed us to quickly build prototypes into viable products in several 12-week sprints. So far, we have seen proven productivity gains of over 30% as compared to the other blockchain platforms we tried.”

Andre Biagianti, CIO of Certified Origins, intend to use the platform to track their products from manufacturing to sales.

“The availability of Oracle’s blockchain service simplifies the implementation and collaboration of all parties included, and represents a real competitive advantage for us. It adds a further level of transparency and information that is valuable for consumers looking for quality products and helps us to support the excellence of the small farms,” he explained.

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Tech Giant Oracle Launches Blockchain Cloud Service Platform

Oracle BlockchainOracle Blockchain
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Tech giant Oracle has formally launched its much-anticipated blockchain service, and many global organizations have already jumped aboard the platform.

News of Oracle’s new blockchain platform first came to light in May, as reported by CCN. At the time, Thomas Kurin, Oracle’s president of product development, mentioned how this upcoming platform would be integrated with other existing services.

After Years in The Making, The Platform is Ready for The World

Today, those goals began to come to life. The Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service offers its clients a safe environment to build and test their own networks. Not just that — users will be able to easily integrate Oracle’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and third-party applications.

As part of its platform, Oracle offers its clients the chance to program and test smart contracts capable of querying the ledger, as well as join other organizations, or even procure blockchain networks.

The executive vice president of Oracle Cloud Platform, Amit Zavery, said, “We are excited to announce the availability of Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service. It is the result of years of R&D alongside our valued partners and customers. With Oracle’s platform, enterprises can enhance their business, eliminate unnecessary processes, and transact with their distributed networks more easily, transparently and securely than ever before.”

The Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service is Live and It Comes With New SaaS

The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric serves as the base for Oracle’s new platform, which hastens the application development process, as well as its setup. The platform includes identity management, REST proxy, event services, container lifecycle management, and all the underlying infrastructure dependencies.

Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director at Hyperledger, explained:

“Based on Hyperledger Fabric, Oracle’s platform, with its support for interoperability with non-Oracle Hyperledger Fabric instances, will help build further support for open standards and interoperability, while illustrating how quickly, easily and securely businesses can begin utilizing blockchain to improve business processes.”

Oracle is also introducing new SaaS blockchain application,s which allow users to perform tasks such as track and trace, warranty and usage, provenance identification, and cold chain.

Oracle Clients Lauding New Blockchain Platform

CargoSmart, Arab Jordan Investment Bank, Certified Origins, Intelipost, Indian Oil, MTO, Nigeria Customs, Neurosoft, Solar Site Design, Sofbang, and TradeFin are some of the global organizations already using the Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service.

CargoSmart’s CEO, Steve Siu, explained that his company intends on using the platform to simplify the shipping company’s complex processes. He added:

“The comprehensive nature of Oracle’s blockchain cloud platform has allowed us to quickly build prototypes into viable products in several 12-week sprints. So far, we have seen proven productivity gains of over 30% as compared to the other blockchain platforms we tried.”

Andrea Biagianti, CIO of Certified Origins, plans on using the platform to track their products from manufacturing to sales.

“The availability of Oracle’s blockchain service simplifies the implementation and collaboration of all parties included, and represents a real competitive advantage for us. It adds a further level of transparency and information that is valuable for consumers looking for quality products and helps us to support the excellence of the small farms,” he explained.

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Oracle announces general availability of Blockchain Cloud Service

A statement from the company said among the early adopters were Arab Jordan Investment Bank, CargoSmart, Certified Origins, Indian Oil, Intelipost, MTO, Neurosoft, Nigeria Customs, Sofbang, Solar Site Design and TradeFin.

Oracle’s blockchain platform is built atop The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. It is pre-assembled with all the underlying infrastructure dependencies, container lifecycle management, event services, identity management, REST proxy, and a number of operations and monitoring tools integrated under a single console, expediting the set-up and application development process.

The service is an Oracle-managed cloud platform backed by a 99.95% availability service-level agreement, with built-in high availability configuration, autonomous recovery agents, as well as continuous ledger backup capabilities that can enable multi-data centre disaster recovery across availability domains.

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“Blockchain promises to be one of the most transformative technologies of our generation,” said Amit Zavery, executive vice-president, Oracle Cloud Platform.

“We are excited to announce the availability of Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service. It is the result of years of R&D alongside our valued partners and customers.

“With Oracle’s platform, enterprises can enhance their business, eliminate unnecessary processes, and transact with their distributed networks more easily, transparently and securely than ever before.”

Hyperledger executive director Brian Behlendorf said: “Companies are increasingly testing and seeing the value blockchain technologies can offer their organisations, from streamlining internal processes to building trusted networks with partners, customers and third parties.

“Based on Hyperledger Fabric, Oracle’s platform, with its support for interoperability with non-Oracle Hyperledger Fabric instances, will help build further support for open standards and interoperability, while illustrating how quickly, easily and securely businesses can begin utilising blockchain to improve business processes.”

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Oracle’s Blockchain Cloud Service Goes Public

Oracle-Blockchain-Cloud-Service-Goes-Public
Ali Longwell
July 16, 2018

10:45 am PT

Oracle’s Blockchain Cloud Service, which it debuted at the Oracle OpenWorld event last October, today became generally available. Organizations have been developing an early adopter version of the technology to track global supply chain goods, as well as manage and secure transactions.

The service is part of Oracle’s Cloud Platform and is fully managed by Oracle. Oracle built the blockchain service on The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger blockchain fabric. Blockchain customers pay for the service per usage for each transaction going to a blockchain.

The blockchain service comes pre-assembled and has tools integrated into the single console. Those include monitoring and operations tools; infrastructure dependencies; container lifecycle management; event services; identity management and event services; and representational state transfer (REST) proxy.

The Oracle blockchain platform includes capabilities from its Cloud Platform that integrate with a customer’s existing cloud and on-premises applications, APIs, and tools. The company also started offering software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications for common blockchain use cases. These include track and trace; provenance identification; and warranty and usage.

AuraBlocks last year created a financial service on the platform that verifies the identity of borrowers. Oracle said other organizations have used the service for finance, telecommunications, the public sector, retail, e-commerce, energy, supply chain, and logistics.

Oracle recently joined The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions and is part of its blockchain group.

Many of Oracle’s cloud competitors are developing and working on blockchain. Microsoft has been working on its Blockchain-as-a-Service since November 2015; Google is building a distributed ledger blockchain software; IBM released a beta blockchain service last year; and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is also working on blockchain, though exactly how remains a mystery.

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Oracle Launches Blockchain Cloud Service

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Oracle offering underpinned by Hyperledger Fabric

Oracle has officially released its Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service, a development platform built on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. The subscription-based service aims to help businesses track goods transparently and securely through supply chains on a global scale.

Oracle said the new offering provides customers with a highly available platform to build their own blockchain networks, and to quickly integrate with Oracle SaaS and third-party applications they already use, as well as other blockchain networks and Oracle PaaS products.

It also enables users to provision blockchain networks, join other organizations, and deploy and run smart contracts to update and query the ledger. (Blockchain creates a tamper-proof, distributed account of transactions on a network for all participants).

Qualcomm pushes Snapdragon processors with Microsoft and SamsungWhat is Hyperledger Fabric?

Hyperledger Fabric is a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.

It was initially contributed by New York-based fintech Digital Asset and IBM via a hackathon. It is intended as a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture. The project has grown to more than 145 members since its inception, spanning various industries including finance, healthcare, the Internet of Things, credit card services, supply chain and aeronautics, among several others.

The open source platform allows users to “plug-and-play” a variety of blockchain consensus and membership services, so is highly adaptable. It uses container technology to host smart contracts called “chaincode” that comprise the application logic of the system.

Now generally available, a beta of Oracle’s cloud offering has been used in recent months by Arab Jordan Investment Bank, CargoSmart, Indian Oil, Nigeria Customs, Sofbang, and TradeFin among others.

In a release, Oracle said the platform is pre-assembled with all the underlying infrastructure dependencies, container lifecycle management, event services, identity management, REST proxy, and a number of operations and monitoring tools integrated under a single console.

“Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service is an Oracle-managed cloud platform backed by a 99.95 percent availability SLA, with built-in high availability configuration, autonomous recovery agents, as well as continuous ledger backup capabilities that can enable multi-datacenter disaster recovery across availability domains.”

Red Hat Deepens Microsoft Partnership; Open-Shift on Azure Cloud offeringWho’s Using It?

“Blockchain projects are quickly moving from pilot to production as enterprises and governments begin to see the inherent value of distributed ledgers and smart contracts,” said Robert Parker, group vice president of manufacturing and retail insights, IDC. “As spending accelerates, buyers will need an enterprise class platform beyond open source that includes data security and integrity, scalability, manageability, and interoperability.”

Steve Siu the CEO of CargoSmart, added in a release: “We are using Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service to develop an application to help simplify the complex documentation processes that plague the shipping industry. It… has allowed us to quickly turn prototypes into viable products in several 12-week sprints and so far, we have seen proven productivity gains of more than 30 percent compared to other blockchain platforms we tested. Another key purchasing requirement were its integrated management and operations tools, which allow business partners to monitor all of their blockchain activities and the health of the network.”

Andrea Biagianti, CIO of Certified Origins aded: “As the producer of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from fruits grown in small family farms in Italy, we wanted to trace our product that we sell in the US market branded Bellucci Evoo across the entire supply chain – ‘from the tree to the shelf’. The availability of Oracle’s blockchain service simplifies the implementation and collaboration of all parties included, and represents a real competitive advantage for us. It adds a further level of transparency and information that is valuable for consumers looking for quality products and helps us to support the excellence of the small farms.”

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Re: DD Cloud Tier chunk size – what is it?

Hi David,

So in general most of the traffic going from a DDR to the cloud will be file data – this is stored in ~64Kb ‘compression regions’/chunks and this size is not configurable. There will be other types of data also written to the cloud (i.e. metadata) however this is likely to be a much smaller proportion of what is uploaded.

Note, however, that its not possible to take a file on the DDR and divide its size by 64Kb to work out how many put requests you are likely to see as all data in the cloud is de-duplicated/compressed.

For example, lets say you have a 10Mb file on the active tier of your DDR which you are going to migrate to the cloud – you might think you can do 10Mb/64Kb = 160 PUT requests. Note, however, that this wouldn’t be correct for the following reasons:

– The data being written to the cloud will be de-duplicated against data already in the cloud. For example if 95% of the data in your 10Mb file already exists within the cloud unit you are migrating to (as its referenced by other files which have already been migrated) the DDR will only need to upload the 5% unique data (i.e. 512Kb / 8 PUT requests). Working out how much of a file on the active tier is ‘unique’ when compared with existing data in a cloud unit is very complex and certainly not something that customers can do themselves (so you cannot gain any insight into how much data a file will upload during migration without actually uploading it)

– The data being written to the cloud will be compressed prior to upload. So again lets consider that 95% of the files data already exists in the cloud unit so only 512Kb need to be physically uploaded. If, however, this is compressed via lz before being uploaded it might get 2x compression so now only 256Kb physical data needs to be uploaded (i.e. 4 PUT requests). Again compression ratios depend on a number of factors and its pretty much impossible to say how ‘compressible’ some data is without actually compressing in during migration

Basically customers don’t get any insight into this process which can make it hard to estimate exact costings. That being said DD LTR (long term retention to cloud) has been designed so that it writes to/reads from the cloud as little as possible to minimise costs.

Sorry I don’t have a better answer but I hope this helps to some extent.

Thanks, James

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