As extra blockchain purposes go dwell and present manufacturing deployments scale to bigger enterprise networks and greater transaction volumes, Oracle has recently released the second technology of Oracle Blockchain Platform Cloud Service. This publish discusses intimately the benefits it brings to clients.
In accordance with Deloitte’s “2020 Global Blockchain Survey: From promise to reality,” which surveyed 1,488 senior executives and practitioners in 14 countries, 39% are using blockchain in production in 2020 compared to 23% in the 2019 survey, with the figure rising to 46% for organizations with revenue over US$1 billion. In addition, IDC’s “Worldwide Blockchain 2020 Predictions” report highlights that over one-third of the nearly US$11B forecasted spend on Blockchain Services by 2023 will be on managed services, with more than 80% of organizations in 2020 using Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) as the first priority for blockchain infrastructure when implementing blockchain initiatives. As Blockchain implementations move from experimentation to production, and the technology turns the corner from early adopters to wider acceptance, the products that support customer implementations must also evolve to meet customer needs.
Driven by customer feedback, the new generation of Oracle’s managed Blockchain-as-a-Service platform on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) provides significant new advantages for production blockchain deployments and decentralized business networks.
Numerous industry studies have noted that many blockchain projects do not reach production stage, with some hitting limitations due to immature technology stacks, which do not provide enterprise-grade resilience required for business-critical applications or are difficult to scale with sufficient agility and granularity to meet the needs of the production workloads in an affordable manner. When enterprise blockchains involve multiple competing organizations (e.g., competing suppliers to a major manufacturer or competing carriers in a shipping network) the transparency of a distributed ledger may run contrary to confidentiality or privacy needs in a business relationships or regulatory requirements, and the limited options for transaction or data confidentiality in the current frameworks may not be sufficiently powerful or granular.
“With this release, Oracle advances the Oracle Blockchain Platform to a new level of dynamic scalability, high availability, and confidentiality for enterprise blockchain applications running on Oracle Cloud,” said Frank Xiong, Group VP, Blockchain Product Development in Oracle. “We’ve enhanced our architecture to take advantage of the higher resilience and improved price/performance enabled by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. This provides options for customers to dynamically scale-out and scale-up their configurations to better match their evolving workloads. The new version of Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service is designed to help customers comply with regulations, confidentiality, and information governance needs. We also continue to leverage the advancements of community-verified open source Hyperledger Fabric releases, including support for a decentralized RAFT consensus protocol.”
This new generation of Oracle Blockchain Platform has been architected to meet three key objectives:
- Strengthen its ability to meet production-grade customer needs – higher resilience, dynamic scalability, and enhanced security – by re-envisioning the architecture leveraging Oracle Cloud Infrastructure capabilities
- Extend blockchain capabilities based on the Hyperledger Fabric community advancements
- Enable new pricing metrics to better match customer expectations and avoid surprises as transaction volumes grow
“We jumped at the chance to upgrade to the new Oracle Blockchain Platform Cloud Service because we prefer the more predictable pricing model as well as dynamic scaling,” said Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, CEO of Circulor. “The migration was fast and painless.”
Strengthening Production-Grade Customer Needs
Since the launch of Oracle Blockchain Platform two years ago, many of our customers have gone live with a broad range of blockchain applications and workloads. These use cases include tracking provenance of food and fashion products, electric vehicle battery components, and luxury goods; tracking millions of maritime shipments; recording thousands of e-KYC verifications for instant bank account opening, and many other production applications. As these customers expand their networks and scale transaction volumes, the new release delivers:
- Enhanced resilience, high availability, and recoverability with automatic distribution and replication of all platform components over three Availability Domains (ADs) or three Fault Domains (FDs) in single AD information facilities. This implies the occasion can survive any outage restricted to a single AD or FD by routinely deploying all of the parts in an “anti-affinity” sample to assist guarantee full replication of all service parts. Clients with business-critical blockchain purposes profit from this new launch’s potential to offer stronger resilience and recoverability, with the SLA for the Enterprise SKUs of no less than 99.95% (see OCI PaaS and IaaS Services Pillar doc for particulars.)
- Decentralized ordering utilizing RAFT-based replicated state machine approach to switch the Kafka/ZK-based ordering in earlier releases. Avoiding reliance on extra service parts (Kafka/ZK) simplifies the infrastructure used to assist blockchain operations and helps to extend the general resilience and effectivity of the infrastructure. At a blockchain community stage, utilizing RAFT-based ordering permits a number of organizations to run ordering nodes as a part of a “consenter set”, and completely different channels may be supported by separate ordering clusters. This leads to higher general scalability and extra granular scaling of the precise ordering nodes primarily based on the transaction volumes of the channels they assist. And it additional helps with privateness and confidentiality by enabling particular channels to make use of orderers from particular member organizations, relatively than counting on a world ordering cluster in earlier releases.
- Multi-region ordering cluster offers an excellent increased diploma of resilience. The ordering cluster that sequences the transactions and creates the ledger blocks is the center of the blockchain community. By organising a number of situations throughout the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure areas and linking their RAFT-based ordering service nodes (OSNs) right into a disaster-proof ordering cluster, the blockchain community can survive even a area’s failure or a serious community outage so long as the remaining OSNs can meet the quorum majority necessities (e.g., 2 out of three, three out of 5, and so on.)
- Dynamic scale-up and scale-out of blockchain nodes and storage to allow admins to match assets to workload wants. Not like the earlier launch of Oracle Blockchain Platform, the place Oracle Cloud operations would scale your occasion primarily based on a service request, this model offers clients the controls for a granular scale-out and scale-up as a self-service. For instance, you possibly can dynamically:
- Add peer and ordering nodes, specifying which AD or FD to deploy them in and the way a lot OCPU useful resource so as to add
- Scale-up or down present peer nodes throughout the limits of their VM
- Enhance or lower the variety of reproduction copies for the CA or REST Proxy
- Develop the storage in 1 TB increments
- Develop the full variety of OCPUs accessible to the platform
- Enhanced confidentiality and privateness with assist of the brand new fine-grained on-chain entry management mechanism – offering a brand new chaincode API and library to create, replace, handle, and examine entry management lists (ACLs) that may be outlined on any information or features inside a wise contract. This permits builders to make use of regular blockchain transactions to create Teams, Assets, and ACLs on the ledger and use the supplied APIs to confirm entry privileges of their enterprise logic. For patrons who must steadiness distributed ledger transparency with enterprise confidentiality or regulatory privateness necessities, this mechanism is just not solely extra granular than something accessible in Hyperledger Cloth at the moment, however it’s applied on-chain and may be deployed in a shared ledger, offering built-in transaction historical past for auditing of any ACL modifications.
- Audit of Management Airplane operations by an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure audit log. Audit data can be found by an authenticated, filterable question API or may be retrieved as batched information from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage. An identical audit log for blockchain Console operations is deliberate in an upcoming launch.
- Assist for Oracle Database Blockchain Tables through the wealthy historical past database function. This function, when enabled, asynchronously shadows blockchain transaction updates to an Oracle Database or Autonomous Knowledge Warehouse, which is commonly used for analytics and reporting, in addition to Autonomous Transaction Processing. Nonetheless, as soon as in common tables, the information is just not below the identical tamper-proof controls because it was on-chain, so some auditors might query the integrity of the analytics studies constructed from these tables, significantly if they’re used for monetary purposes, SOX-404 compliant reporting, and so on. Utilizing the brand new Oracle 20c Blockchain Tables as targets for the wealthy historical past – which this launch permits – offers extremely tamper-resistant, insert-only database tables with hash-linked rows, PL/SQL validation, and different immutability options to make sure the identical robust auditability and tamper-resistance spans from on-chain information to its off-chain shadow within the database.
“The dynamic scaling modifications all the things. We will enable retailers, who use our platform for monitoring product provenance data, to run at full throttle with huge engines after they want them, however minimize prices when they aren’t required,” stated Peter Merkert, Co-founder of retraced. “Additional, there’s a central audit log mechanism out of the field in OCI for all our cloud companies, which is now additionally utilized by the brand new technology of the Oracle Blockchain Platform. Not like earlier than, we will see configuration modifications for all companies in a single place.”
Extending Blockchain Capabilities for Decentralized Enterprise Networks
Permissioned blockchain networks usually begin with a couple of member organizations and develop to incorporate many extra members over time. More and more, the governance of the community turns into an essential consideration in offering equal rights and therapy among the many members. This contains the ordering tasks – the method of sequencing transactions and grouping them into ledger blocks. In prior releases this ordering was finished by ordering service nodes utilizing Kafka messages to realize consensus on the sequence of transactions within the block. As a result of Kafka’s finest performing configuration is when its brokers all run in a single website, the ordering nodes have been additionally supplied by a single group – the community Founder.
With the brand new launch, the ordering consensus mechanism has been upgraded to RAFT – a dynamic leader-based protocol primarily based on a replicated state machine method, which removes the necessity for Kafka and permits orderers from a number of organizations to cooperate in an ordering cluster. With this alteration, any blockchain situations within the community can run OSNs and be a part of them to chose channels with the intention to take part in a decentralized ordering course of. The result’s extra uniform and distributed governance with all members having the ability to take part equally. As well as, eradicating dependence on Kafka and Zookeeper to maintain the platform operating reduces operational complexity and saves assets beforehand consumed by these parts.
As talked about above, with RAFT, this launch can use teams of orderers supplied by blockchain platform situations deployed throughout a number of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure areas, and even non-Oracle Cloth nodes in third-party vendor clouds, to permit a extensively distributed geo-redundant ordering cluster that may proceed to function even when one of many areas or its communications are down. With RAFT, you will need to keep in mind that its operation requires a majority of the preliminary quorum of OSNs to be accessible. Thus, when you begin with a quorum of N OSNs, you possibly can lose a few of them so long as the remaining quantity nonetheless constitutes a majority (N/2 + 1) of the preliminary N OSNs. The velocity of the community hyperlinks between orderers can be essential to bear in mind when benchmarking for prime throughput necessities. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure areas use high-bandwidth, fault-tolerant network links with no less than 100 Gbps between them and constant latency (as little as 75ms inside US and as little as 75ms US to EU).
Adjusting Pricing Metrics to Higher Match Buyer Expectations
When clients are experimenting and operating pilots, transaction-based pricing of the present situations is elastic and reasonably priced. However as workloads transfer to manufacturing and transaction charges turn into a lot increased, clients might need a much less elastic pricing mannequin and one which’s extra predictable and never depending on exterior transactions.
On this launch we introduce OCPU-hour primarily based pricing metrics to answer these wants. The configuration of the situations is measured in OCPUs and storage assets allotted to them. The truth is, there are two SKUs: Customary – offering a low price mounted configuration for improvement and testing, and Enterprise – offering a extremely resilient and dynamically scalable configuration, the place OCPUs and storage may be expanded. The desk under exhibits the 2 newly accessible SKUs and their configuration particulars.
The preliminary variety of OCPUs and storage in an Enterprise occasion may be adjusted up or down (however not under the minimal) dynamically utilizing the Management Panel, and the brand new numbers shall be reported into the billing system as soon as the scaling operation has been accomplished. For the pricing of OCPU-hr and storage, please refer here.
Along with the brand new pricing metric, two new buyer choices are launched on this launch:
- Skill to Cease and Restart situations on demand utilizing Management Panel. Through the time the occasion is just not operating, the fees for OCPUs are diminished to 25% of the allotted capability (e.g., an Enterprise Giant occasion with 16 OCPUs will solely be charged for four OCPUs throughout the hours it isn’t operating).
- Oracle’s Deliver-Your-Personal-License (BYOL) program permits clients to leverage present software program licenses for Oracle PaaS at a decrease price. Particularly, licenses of Oracle Blockchain Platform Enterprise Version (an on-premises model of the blockchain platform) may be registered in your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure account and utilized to the Enterprise SKU OCPU licenses at a charge of 1 OBP EE Processor license = 2 OCPUs.
For patrons utilizing present variations of Oracle Blockchain Platform Cloud Service, Oracle will present a migration functionality to the brand new launch with no lack of ledger information or configuration data.
This overview weblog publish kicks off a collection over the approaching weeks, which is able to additional discover the technical benefits of this launch in depth, overlaying subjects comparable to:
- Excessive Availability & Resilience
- Dynamic Scalability
- Decentralized Ordering Primarily based on RAFT
- Advantageous-grained Entry Management
- Wealthy Historical past Utilizing Blockchain Tables
- Utilizing Oracle Cloud Infrastructure SDKs and CLI for Blockchain Platform life cycle administration operations
For extra data:
- For additional particulars on the brand new model learn What’s New.
- For extra assets on the managed service providing, together with buyer case research, pricing, documentation, associate options, and extra, please go to the Oracle blockchain platform cloud service page.
- For extra data on Oracle Blockchain options and associated information please go to Oracle.com/Blockchain.