LAS VEGAS — VMware is working on a research project that incorporates blockchain distributed ledger technology.
Speaking at the VMworld 2017 conference here this week, Chief Research Officer David Tennenhouse said that VMware’s research department is working on a blockchain prototype that delivers a secure, reliable, and scalable distributed ledger platform so that enterprises can exchange currency. “Blockchain could be a whole new business area,” he said.
Tennenhouse said the company hopes to have a proof of concept available for customers in the coming year. “We think enterprises will need a different blockchain,” he said.
VMware is a member of Hyperledger, a global open source collaborative hosted by the Linux Foundation. Hyperledger’s goal is to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. In July Hyperledger issued its first release, Hyperledger Fabric 1.0.
In a blog post, VMware said that its blockchain vision incorporates five things:
- Permission-based, private distributed ledgers.
- High-throughput data replication.
- A world of many ledgers.
- Seamless core cross-ledger transaction support.
- Built-in reconfiguration capability and membership.
VMware’s blockchain project is just one example of how the company is innovating. Tennenhouse said that VMware’s internal research team works with researchers from a variety of universities around the globe to foster a culture of openness that promotes innovation.
Blockchain isn’t the only new technology VMware is exploring. Chris Wolf, VP of Global Field and Industries at VMware, said the company is also looking at ways to combine automation with serverless functions. “We can bring in richer automation with serverless functions,” he said.
Wolf also predicted that the next generation of disruptive applications will be those that are close to the user of the application because that will reduce latency. “The volume of data is forcing these services to the edge,” Wolf said.