The debate about private vs. public blockchains have been very active in the blockchain community. Recently, we have gotten a glimpse about the viability of the private blockchain model as some household names such as Citi or Credit Suisse have embraced it as part of their initial set of blockchain solutions. One of the factors that is helping accelerate the viability of private blockchains is the emergence of the blockchain as a service(BaaS) model.
BaaS refers to an architecture style that enables the creation of private blockchains as part of platform as a service(PaaS) infrastructures. IBM and Microsoft have taken the lead in the BaaS trend with the release of technologies such as Hyperledger and Project Bletchey respectively. Additionally, AWS and Google Cloud are expected to enter the BaaS race soon.
The current generation of BaaS technologies are fundamentally based on public cloud infrastructure such as Azure or Bluemix. In the future, some BaaS stacks might be available as private cloud solutions like Azure Stack but we are still far from the adoption of that model. The dependencies on public PaaS is, in my opinion, a limiting factor for BaaS as many of the same arguments keeping customers for adopting public blockchains might still apply to blockchains running on public clouds.
More than any other technologies running on PaaS stacks, blockchains can really benefit from an architecture that ensures portability and consistency between different cloud and on-premise platofrms. From the technologies available today, the combination of Cloudfoundry and Ethereum can be a winner to address some of the challenges with the BaaS model.
CFBaaS: Cloudfoundry + Ethereum
The combination of Cloudfoundry and Ethereum [CFBaaS] is a very intriguing architecture for BaaS solutions. For starters, the model will ensure 100% open source distribution of both the BaaS stack as well as the underlying PaaS. Similarly, a CFBaaS stack will ensure portability across different public and private cloud infrastructures. From a functional standpoint, Ethereum will expand Cloudfoundry with the capabilities and services required to build blockchain solutions. Complementarly, Cloudfoundry’s infrastructure and platform services will expand the capabilities of Ethereum solutions in areas such as data storage, security, middleware and many other components of general-purpose applications.
The CFBaaS model will bring an interesting set of benefits compared with the current group of BaaS platforms. Let’s explore a few ideas:
— Open Source Distribution: A BaaS model based on Cloudfoundry and Ethereum will ensure 100% open source distribution of the blockchain technologies as well as the underlying cloud platform.
— BaaS Portability and Interoperability: A CFBaaS architecture will ensure portability across different public PaaS such as Azure or AWS as well as on-premise environments.
— Ethereum Oracles for Cloudfoundry Services: A CFBaaS architecture will enable Ethereum’s Oracles for Cloudfoundry services in areas such as storage or messaging which will allow developers to build really robust blockchain solutions.
— Decentralized Cloudfoundry solutions: Leveraging Ethereum as part of Cloudfoundry will enable the implementation of fully descentralized applications that combine different capabilities of the Cloudfoundry stack.
— Merging Two Dynamic Developer Communities: A CFBaaS solution will bring together two of the most exciting developer communities in the market.
— Commercial Adoption:Many customers in regulated industries that are currently evaluating blockchain technologies have already adopted Cloudfoundry as their PaaS solution. A CFBaaS model will simplify the adoption of Ethereum and blockchain technologies without requiring new investments on infrastructure or engineering resources.