Some experts are saying that cloud and traditional in-house enterprise data center storage will be left behind in favor for distributed storage based on blockchain technology. Organizations say that decentralized blockchain-based file storage will be more secure, will make it harder to lose data, and will be cheaper than anything seen before.
China-based company, FileStorm, which describes itself in marketing materials as the first Interplanetary File Storage (IPFS) platform on blockchain, says the key to making it all work is to solely store the transactional data in blockchain. The actual data files, such as large video files, are distributed in IPFS, which is a distributed, peer-to-peer file storage protocol. File parts come from multiple computers all at the same time, supposedly making the storage hardy. FileStorm adds blockchain on top of it for a form of transactional indexing.
“Blockchain is designed to store transactions forever, and the data can never be altered, thus a trustworthy system is created,” says Raymond Fu, founder of FileStorm and chief product officer at MOAC, the underlying system used, in a video on the FireStorm website.
“The blocks are used to store only small transactional data,” he says. “You can’t store the large files on it. Those are distributed. Decentralized data storage platforms are needed for added decentralized blockchain.”
YottaChain, another blockchain storage start-up program also uses a non-IPFS system that they claim is more secure due to deduplication efforts after encryption, which eliminates duplicate or redundant data. “Data is 10,000 times more secure than [traditional] centralized storage,” it says on its website.
However, there is some concern that blockchain will disrupt enterprise data storage. Blockapps, a blockchain backend platform provider, says advantages to this new generation of storage include that decentralizing data provides more security and privacy. That’s due in part because it’s harder to hack than traditional centralized storage. The files are spread piecemeal among nodes, conceivably all over the world, which makes it impossible for even the participating node to view the contents of the complete file.
Sharding, which is the term for breaking apart and node-spreading of the actual data, is secured through keys. Markets can award token coins for mining, and coins can be spent to gain storage. Excess storage can even be sold. And cryptocurrencies have started to “incentivize usage and create a market for buying and selling decentralized storage,” BlockApps explains.
The final few parts of this new storage mix concern lost files that are minimized so that data can be easily duplicated. For example, data sets can be stored multiple times for error correction and costs are reduced due to efficiencies. Given these attributes, we could very well see the cloud computing industry be disrupted by blockchain technology over the next few years. Even so, cloud and in-house solutions will still be very popular options for data storage and will not be going anywhere anytime soon.