The storage of data is not only one of the most important aspects of any computer system, but also one of the most attention and development has received throughout history. From the archaic punched cards, through such peculiar systems as the selectron tubes, to the optical, magnetic and solid state media that we all know today, humanity has been constantly searching for new storage systems. Today, Blockchain technology is seen as a powerful candidate for the storage of future data. The definitive system?
Before going into detail about how Blockchain can be an alternative to traditional physical disks, it is worth reviewing some attributes that define a data storage system:
Volatility: a volatile memory is one that loses all data at the moment the power supply is interrupted. This is the case of RAM and the reason why a server or computer loses all information that has not been recorded on disk in the event of an electrical failure. In contrast, mechanical or solid state hard drives are 'non-volatile' storage media.
Access: Do you hear the term 'Random Access'? It refers to the ability to be able to consult at any time, any point of memory. It is contrasted with the 'Sequential Access', characteristic of magnetic tapes and in which we can only access the information in a certain order (in this case, following the path of the tape). Nowadays, however, most media to which we are accustomed are of 'random access', allowing us to read or write directly to any location in the memory.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][caption id="attachment_8432" align="aligncenter" width="600"] RAM (Random Accés Memory) gets its name from one of its main characteristics: being able to read and write at any time, any point of memory.[/caption]
Mutability and performance: mutability refers to the ability to overwrite stored information. The performance, as the name suggests, the speed of reading and writing. It is common to find storage media that have different read and write speeds, for example, allowing data to be read at a speed much higher than that required for storage. Depending on the budget and the characteristics of our project, we can obtain fast support in reading, fast in writing or offering a good performance in both aspects.
Geographic location: another fundamental characteristic of a storage medium is its location. The fastest disk in the world will do us no good if it is on the other side of the world and the transfer of data is a greater bottleneck than the speed of the disk itself. Traditionally, geographic location has not been considered a characteristic of the storage medium, but from the moment we consider 'cloud storage' as a solution in itself, we should take it into account as one more aspect.
Now that we know some of the fundamental characteristics of storage media, we can ask ourselves: how will a system based on Blockchain work and why is it so promising?
While it is true that the chain of blocks already allows, in and of itself, the publication and decentralized storage of small amounts of data (balances, smart contracts, etc.), the average price may be too high, except to publish a few MBs of information. . Today the blockchain itself is not a viable support to host the 50,000 GB of data that is created in the world every second.
However, if we understand Blockchain as what it is: roughly, a decentralized database, then we can imagine a system that uses this technology to store pointers or addresses that collect the actual location of the data, physically stored in geographically distributed servers and known as 'nodes'. By adding a computer system capable of encrypting, segmenting, redundant and distributing information to these thousands of storage nodes, we obtain an extremely resilient support: a support able to resist the fall of any (or even a majority) of the nodes and still maintain the integrity of our data indefinitely.
It should be noted that the operators of these nodes would not be lending their storage capacity for the love of art, but that they would receive a recurring remuneration from the owner of the data. This economic compensation is a very important guarantee and incentive to ensure the persistence of the information we wish to store.
In this way, we managed to solve one of the most important challenges that all storage support has to face: the longevity of the data. In a system based on blockchain, information can persist, in theory, indefinitely. Additionally, the geographical distribution and the presence of thousands of nodes will not only suppose an additional protection against attempts of censorship or computer attacks, but could also drastically reduce prices as a result of very strong competitive pressure.
The system proposed in the previous section is able to offer us a type of non-volatile storage (persistent), random access, mutable, secure and accessible from anywhere in the world. However, there is one feature in which you will not be able to compete with a system hosted in a tradutional Data Center: performance.
Decentralization and geographic distribution, the same aspects that allow information to persist indefinitely in the network, also represent an important obstacle when writing and reading data at high speeds.
Today we are increasingly accustomed to applications that provide us with real-time results: ecommerce, ERP programs, search engines, CRM software, etc. All these environments require, precisely, to be able to obtain and store data in the shortest time possible in order to give the sensation of immediacy and can not afford the high latency times that this new blockchain-based technology probably implies.
The disc booths for professional use, located in specialized Data Centers, are designed with the aim of offering very high reading and writing speeds.
We are, therefore, faced with a partial solution that covers specific needs (archive, long-term storage, ubiquitous access, low prices) and that undoubtedly will represent a breakthrough in the industrial or domestic sectors in which Take advantage of these features. It is not the panacea or definitive solution that many had prognosticated, but it is a technology that can complement the use of high speed Flash disks in specialized Data Centers for those applications that require higher performance without sacrificing data security or integrity.
Finally, we take the opportunity to recommend our Cloud servers with Flash discs in SW Hosting. Storage of the future based on Blockchain is not yet a reality, but ultrafast discs in Flash for production environments that require a significant amount of performance, you can get them today.
We hope you enjoyed the entrance, until next time![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]