There’s been a lot of confusion (and Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) about The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric performance and scale; and, admittedly, a lack of information about best practices that can help you yield improved performance and scale.
The reality is that Hyperledger Fabric does perform and scale nicely, given the right compute and networking infrastructure. However, it can also yield results that are inadequate for your application’s needs. As with any newish technology, the impacts on performance range from improper (or should I say unexpected) use, improper fabric application to software, and hardware bottlenecks to be addressed over time.
I’m old enough to remember my first experiences with relational databases, which at the time were brand spanking new to the enterprise, much as blockchain technology is today. I recall kicking the tires in some early testing where you could launch a query and go for a cup of coffee before the results were returned (okay, that’s admittedly an exaggeration).
The reality is that over the years (decades, actually), the engineering of relational database engines underwent a continuous evolution to improve performance and scale capabilities. Additionally, developers writing applications that leveraged them have had to learn how to best construct schemas, indexes, queries and stored procedures to avoid performance nightmares of their own making.
As a result, I’m kicking off this blog series to report on various aspects of Hyperledger Fabric performance and scaling with the intent of helping to set the record straight, provide best practices guidance, and to provide you with the latest information on related improvements to Hyperledger Fabric.
A blockchain is a series of blocks that records data in hash functions with timestamps so that the data cannot be changed or tampered with. As data cannot be overwritten, data manipulation is extremely impractical, thus securing data and eliminating centralized points that cybercriminals often target.
Furthermore, private analysts say that the Pentagon believes the Blockchain Technology could be used as a Cybersecurity shield. In an article by The Washington Times, analysts deem that using blockchain, the technological backbone of bitcoin, could dramatically improve security across the U.S. military, preventing mega hacks, tampering, and cyber-hijackings of vehicles, aircraft, or satellites.
According to Dan Boylan of The Washington Times, the key to blockchain's security is that any changes made to the database are immediately sent to all users to create a secure, established record. With copies of the data in all users' hands, the overall database remains safe even if some users are hacked.
This tamper-proof, decentralized feature has made blockchain increasingly popular beyond its original function supporting bitcoin digital transactions. Many cutting-edge finance firms, for instance, have used blockchain to expedite processes and cut costs without compromising security.
Though blockchain has several advantages over other systems, there are still a few challenges in terms of compliance, regulations, and enforcement that will need to be addressed.
For example, regulatory issues demand clarity over jurisdictions and how to comply with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) laws. But progressively increasing demand and acceptance by corporations would help overcome these challenges sooner than predicted.