Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Blockchain Business Innovation


Is there more than bitcoin to blockchain?

Absolutely, because today’s blockchain is opening up a path towards the delivery of trusted online services.


To understand this statement, you need to see blockchain as more that it’s more famous bitcoin use case. As a fundamental digital tool, blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions. If used in this fashion, it can enable transactional applications that can have embedded trust, accountability and transparency attributes. Instead of having a Bitcoin blockchain that is reliant on the exchange of cryptocurrencies with anonymous users on a public network, a Business blockchain can provide a permissioned network with known and verified identities. With this kind of transactional visibility, all activities within that network are observable and auditable by every network user. This end-to-end visibility, also known as shared ledgering, can also be linked to business rules and business logic that can drive and enforce trust, openness and integrity across that business network.  Application built, managed and supported through such an environment can now hold a verifiable pedigree with security built right in that can:
  • Prevent anyone - even root users and administrators - from taking control of a system;
  • Deny illicit attempts to change data or applications within the network; and
  • Block unauthorized data access by ensuring encryption keys can never be misappropriated.

From an industry vertical point of view, this approach can:
  • Give financial institutions an ability to settle securities in minutes instead of days;
  • Reduce manufacturer product recalls by sharing production logs with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and regulators; and
  • Help businesses of all types more closely manage the flow of goods and related payments with greater speed and less risk.
Innovators within just about any industry can build, run and manage their own business blockchain network. And even if the organization isn’t quite ready to do the heavy lifting, it can consume a blockchain service from companies like IBM.

Ready-made frameworks as also available from the Hyperledger Project, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. Available hyperledger business frameworks include:
  • Sawtooth - a modular platform for building, deploying, and running distributed ledgers that includes a consensus algorithm which targets large distributed validator populations with minimal resource consumption.
  • Iroha - a business blockchain framework designed to be for incorporation into infrastructural projects that require distributed ledger technology.
  • Fabric - a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture that allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play.
  • Burrow - a permissionable smart contract machine that provides a modular blockchain client with a permissioned smart contract interpreter built in part to the specification of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

If you’re team is looking to innovate and take a leadership position within your industry, business blockchains may be the perfect enhancement for your business focused application.



This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.




Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)



Friday, May 5, 2017

How Quantum computing with DNA storage will affect your health



By Guest Contributor: 
Taran Volckhausen, Contributing Editor at Vector (http://www.indexer.me)

Moore's Law, which states that processing speeds will double every two years as we cram more and more silicon transistors onto chips, has been faltering since the early 2000s when the law started to run up against fundamental limitations presented by the laws of thermodynamicsWhile the chip industry, with Intel leading the charge, has found ways to sidestep the limitations up until now, many are now saying that despite the industry’s best efforts, the stunning gains in processor speeds will not be seen again by the simple application of Moore’s Law. In fact, there is evidence to show that we are reaching the plateau for the number of transistors that will fit on a single chip. Intel has even suggested silicon transistors can only keep getting smaller during the next five years.
As a result, Intel has resorted to other practices to improve processing speeds, such as adding multiple processing cores. However, these new methods are just a temporary solution because computing programs can benefit from multi-processors systems up until a certain point.



RIP Moore’s Law: Where do we go from here?

No doubt, the end of Moore’s Law will certainly present headaches in the immediate future for the technology sector. But is the death of Moore’s Law really all bad news? The fact the situation is stirring heightened interest in quantum computing and other “supercomputer” technology gives us reason to suggest otherwise. Quantum computers, for instance, do not rely on traditional bit processors to operate. Instead, quantum computers make use quantum bits, known as “qubits,” which is a two-state quantum-mechanical system that can process both 1s and 0s at the same time.

The advances in processing speeds made possible by quantum computing would make Moore’s Law look like a caveman’s stone tool. For instance, the Google-funded D-Wave quantum supercomputer is able to outperform traditional computers in processing speeds by a mind-blowing factor of 100-million. With the advantages offered by “quantum supremacy” easy to comprehend, the race is now on between tech-heavyweights such as Google, IBM, Microsoft and Intel to successfully prototype and release the first quantum computer for commercial use. However, due to the “weird” quantum mechanics the technology relies on, there are few barriers to working with and storing data derived from processing with qubits.

Brave new world: Quantum Computing with DNA-based Storage

Basically, the fundamentals of quantum mechanics don’t permit you to store information on the quantum-computing machine itself. While you could convert its data for storage on traditional devices, such as the solid-state hard drive, you would need to process a nearly infinite amount of information, which would require an impossible amount of space and energy to achieve. However, there could be a solution, but it requires us to look within. Not in a hippy-dippy “finding yourself” sort of way, but rather the double helix code found in in humans and almost all other organisms: DNA. For decades, researchers have toying around with using DNA as both a computing and a storage device. Recently, a team of researchers at Columbia University demonstrated that their coding strategy based on one strand of DNA could store 215 petabytes of information. "Performing sentiment analysis on quantum computing and DNA storage topics with Vector API, may uncover robust demand for these technologies in various industries such as healthcare." says Jo Fletcher Co-Founder Indexer.me.

What would supercomputers mean for health treatments?

The human body is an incredibly complex organism. While the markets have released many life-saving drugs, there are many barriers holding us back from realizing their maximum potential. Standard computing isn’t powerful enough to truly predict the ways a drug will react with an individual’s particular genetic composition and unique environmental factors. With quantum computing based on DNA storage, however, you would have the ability to examine pretty much any scenario imaginable by mapping a much more accurate prediction of the of any given drug’s interaction with a particular person based on their genetics and environment. With quantum computing, medical professionals will be able open a new chapter in drug prescription outcomes by tailoring each treatment to meet the exact requirements of each individual.

About Vector

Vector is a natural language processing application that performs information extraction on millions of news stories per day. It provides high value to any quantitative researcher, adding a collaborative-authoring workflow in perfect synergy with the most powerful and unique faceted search in the business. For more information, please visit www.indexer.me or jofletcher@indexer.me.

Useful Links

About Indexer

Indexer is a tech start-up in the artificial intelligence space and has a focus on computer vision and natural language processing technologies.

This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)



Friday, April 28, 2017

36 Shades of Hybrid IT

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Everyone has heard of the 50 Shades of Grey. But do you know the “36 Shades of Hybrid IT”? These shades are a new way of describing the 36 point solutions across a hybrid IT environment. Enterprises looking to transform the way information technology is leveraged should evaluate their options by analyzing a transition across three specific high-level domains and their relevant sub-domains, namely:
  • IT Implementation Model
    • Traditional
    • Managed Service Provider
    • Cloud Service Provider
  • Technology Service Model
    • Infrastructure-as-a-Service
    • Platform-as-a-Service
    • Software-as-a-Service
  • Deployment Model
    • Private
    • Hybrid
    • Community
    • Public

Combinatorically (3 IT Models x 3 Service Models x 4 Deployment Models = 36 options) these components are used to identify the “36 Shades of Hybrid IT”. These domains and sub-domain outline a structured decision process that aims to place the right workload into the most appropriate IT environment.  It is also important to note that this is not a static decision. As business goals, technology options and economic models changes, the relative value of these combinations to your organization may change as well. Another critical truth is that the single point solutions identified by this model are rarely sufficient to meet all enterprise needs so a mix of two, three or as many as 10 variations of these specific point solutions may be required.  This is why hybrid IT and cloud service brokerage are such important skillsets to the modern information technology team.

The IT Implementation domain addresses, at a high level, the three implementation strategy options most companies look at when digital transformation is the goal:
  • Continue a status quo strategy that uses a traditional enterprise data center to address requirements;
  • Select and contract with a managed service provider (MSP) by running a traditional acquisition that dictates requirements and operational processes through the RFP/bid process; or
  • Satisfy requirements through the use of standard offerings from one (or more) cloud service provider (CSP).

The primary drivers in an implementation model selection is enforcement of enterprise IT governance processes (status quo and MSP option) or acceptance of CSP IT governance processes (CSP option). These choices are also strongly influenced by capital investment plans and long-term business model changes. Decisions within the Technology Service Model domain should typically reflect staff skillsets and training targets. IaaS reflects the broadest range of skillsets and training requirements.  It also delivers the greatest amount of flexibility and choice. The other end of the spectrum is represented by SaaS which demands the minimum level of technical staff but may also act as guardrails to your business processes and models. Overall control of data security and technology choices are reflected by deployment model preferences. In the Private model, the organization retains absolute control over all aspects of the information technology platform. Choosing this option, however, would also lead to the highest levels of capital and staffing investments. Public sits at the other extreme, requiring strategic alignment with the cloud service provider in exchange for lower capital and staffing investment requirements. Hybrid and Community deployment options lie between these extremes and usually offer unique operational and economic capabilities.

Your digital transformation team should discuss and debate what these “36 Shades of Hybrid IT” mean for your company’s future. The team should also avoid leaving these important decisions to opinions and guesswork. Comparisons and options should be considered using real data. This is where tools like IBM Cloud Brokerage can be important to your digital transformation efforts. Organizations should carefully consider which business applications should be migrated to which “shade”. While some apps run best on traditional, physical servers, others are cloud-ready, but need the security of private clouds or enterprise-grade public clouds. There are even other applications where lower-priced commodity clouds will prove to be a viable and money-saving option.  In addition to migration plans and cloud choices, the best hybrid IT strategies also take into account provisioning of the necessary migration skills and technology management capabilities. After deciding the target environment for each of your business processes, the team may still need to do some application re-architecting.

If you and your team are dealing with Digital Transformation, a cloud brokerage platform can help by using real data to profile your workloads. It will also enable data-driven decisions on best-fit architectures, technology choices and deployment models. In addition, these platforms aid organizations in designing production solutions and in estimating costs before transformation even begins.

This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.







Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)