Cloud computing technology is changing the way many of today’s internet-based applications and services operate and continues to generate record breaking revenues each year. Amazon Web Services (AWS) alone generated revenues in excess of $7.7 billion during the first quarter of 2019; this represented a 41% increase over the fourth quarter of 2018. These figures signify the potential that blockchain cloud computing systems could generate moving forward. The way in which data is shared and stored, and how businesses collaborate, represents how this technology will forever change our lives.
Blockchain-based cloud computing is in many ways transforming the global cloud computing landscape. In this article, we will touch on the Aelf, Ankr Network and Dfinity blockchain cloud computing solutions. It is predicted by Cisco, that the amount of “usable” data produced in 2021 is larger in size than the forecasted data center traffic that is generated per year by a factor of four. This gap could conceivably be filled by leveraging blockchain-based cloud computing systems as well as by utilizing additional approaches such as edge and fog computing.
Examining Aelf Network’s Cloud Computing Capabilities
The Aelf Blockchain is a system that allows software engineers to customize different types of blockchain’s within the network to meet their own requirements which are specifically related to commercial applications needed for multiple industries. The Aelf Network contains the following 5 main features that help address the growing demands of global enterprises:
- Main Chain and multi-layer Side Chains that possess the capability to be used for a multitude of commercial scenarios. This works by using one chain for a specific use-case while also distributing different types of tasks on multiple chains to improve processing efficiency. Side Chains produce a Merkel Root which is stored on the Main Chain and used for verification processes; as well the Main Chain helps implement Cross-Chain communication.
- Interoperability features that help the platform communicate with external blockchain systems via the network’s messaging system.
- An advanced governance structure that gives stakeholders permission to accept amendments to the protocol; which include changing the consensus methodology of the network. The platform also gives permission for Side Chains to be added or subtracted from the Main Chain which allows incentivization to advance the capabilities of each Side Chain.The Main Chain overseas governance while having no data go through it.
- Basic characteristics used for minimum viable block and genesis smart contract collection for each specified chain that are utilized to decrease data complexity and allow for diverse customization. This process is completed through the platform’s modular structure and eliminates the need to troll through the entire code-base of the network.
- Parallel Processing that is specifically designed to be used for non-competing transactions and cloud-based services. Parallel Processing works with Cluster Nodes to allow addition or reduction of more servers as needed; while Cluster Nodes are split into two different types, one for processing transactions and the other for database storage within the network. This design allows the protocol to be much more resource efficient.
Additionally, the Aelf Kernel is at the core of the Aelf operating system and controls many of the main components within the network. One of the main roles of the Aelf Kernel is to schedule transactions within the protocol; as well, it is also used to dispatch states and smart contracts to the specific locations inside the system. Aelf’s reiteration is similar to the Linux Kernel which was made famous because of its security, overall computing power and its highly customizable features that can be used with nearly any operating system. This adaptability allows Aelf to be used to help solve problems in the real world with the help of partnerships with Chainlink, Huawei and Orange Telecommunications.
Summarizing the Ankr Network Cloud Computing Platform
The Ankr Network system utilizes their newly developed Proof-of-Useful-Work (PoUW) algorithm which adopts Proof-of-Service and Stake Byzantine Fault Tolerance (SLSBFT) which combines some of the characterises of Proof-of-Stake and Byzantine Fault Tolerance consensus mechanisms (BFT) as one. This methodology helps define the service quality, bandwidth, computation and storing capabilities within the distributed cloud computing platform.
It is quite common for traditional blockchain cloud computing solutions to utilize a Virtual Machine (VM) as the basis for the platform. One of the biggest challenges with this approach is that Virtual Machines take a significant amount of time to start up and use a massive amount of RAM and computing power. Ankr Network solves this problem by harnessing a new consensus methodology that uses 3 main components that make the system very secure while also incorporating minimal energy wastage; these include:
- Containerization solves that massive capacity problem that Virtual Machine’s utilized by virtualizing the operating system that allows Distributed Applications to run without needing to launch the full capabilities of the Virtual Machine.
- Cluster Orchestration allows Ankr Network’s system to enable much faster and easier software development resource management by allocating the interconnections and interactions among workloads within the cloud infrastructure in a more efficient manner.
- Trusted Execution Environments (TEE’s) allow Ankr to execute specific applications inside processor-hardened enclaves that are protected areas of execution in memory that increase security even within a compromised cloud system.
Ankr Network has determined an efficient way to identify resources, link them on a chain of networks by applying the Kubernetes algorithm and connect them via Ankr Hubs to maintain working clusters. The company’s aim is to provide shared cloud computing services by combining unused data from smaller data centres that can improve the cost of service and improve profit margins of smaller enterprises in the industry. This entire process is also known as a DCCN (Distributed Cloud Computing Network).
Analyzing Dfinity’s Supercomputer Cloud Computing Protocol
The Dfinity project is an immutable open source cloud platform developed for data centers that employ the secure Internet Computer Protocol (ICP). According to the Dfinity website:
“DFINITY is developing an Internet Computer Protocol that makes it possible for independent data centers to combine the capacity of millions of standardized computers to add native, universal, secure and seamless serverless cloud functionality to the Internet – in much the same way TCP/IP protocols combine private networks to provide the public Internet connectivity we rely on today.”
With the Dfinity Internet cloud and its individualized framework for software creation it reduces real-world costs and time to market for businesses across the globe. Dfinity features unlimited storage and data capacity and the ability to create decentralized applications (dApps) within the ecosystem.
To have the highest levels of security, usability and scalability (speed within the network generally calculated as TPS or Transactions Per Second) it is absolutely essential that cloud computer platforms utilize extreme randomness. The system cannot be at all susceptible to outside manipulation from hackers and other 3rd parties. Dfinity’s Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) leverages a new technology developed by the CEO of the project called Threshold Relay.
Decentralized Cloud Computing technology is as varied as the numerous types of Blockchain protocols currently on the market. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in defining a proper cloud computing solution; it is important to acknowledge that the industry has room for many different types of cloud computing platforms that are used for multiple purposes. Security, adaptability and usability are critical for the user regardless of the approach utilized.
During the age of information and technological advancement that our world currently finds itself in, security and accessibility of data is paramount. Examining the solutions provided by Aelf, Dfinty and Ankr Network we can see varied responses to a similar problem. This article also demonstrates a more democratic, efficient and scalable approach to cloud computing systems through blockchain-based cloud computing.