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IBM launches secure blockchain services/governance and developer tools

First Published 24th March 2017

IBM launches enterprise-ready blockchain services for Hyperledger Fabric v 1.0 on IBM Cloud.

Marie Wieck, IBM Blockchain

Marie Wieck, IBM Blockchain

IBM has announced the new release of IBM Blockchain, an enterprise-ready blockchain service based on the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0. The service enables developers to build and host secure production blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud, and is underpinned by Linux server IBM LinuxONE.

The Linux Foundation's open source Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 is being developed by members of the Hyperledger consortium alongside other open source blockchain technologies. The Hyperledger consortium's Technical Steering Committee recently promoted Fabric from incubator to active state and it is expected to be available in the coming weeks. It is designed to provide a framework for building enterprise-grade blockchain networks that can scale as new network members join and transact at rates of more than 1,000 transactions per second among large ecosystems of users.

"IBM has applied decades of experience running the world's largest transaction systems for banks, airlines, governments and retailers, to build the most secure blockchain services for the enterprise," said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain. "IBM's blockchain services are built on IBM's High Security Business Network and designed for organizations that require blockchain networks that are trusted, open and ready for business."

IBM's High Security Business Network offers a Linux infrastructure that integrates security from the hardware up through the software stack, specifically designed for enterprise blockchains by providing:

  • Protection from insider attacks - helps safeguard entry points on the network and fight insider threats from anyone with system administrator credentials
  • The industry's highest certified level of isolation for a commercial system - Evaluation Assurance Level certification of EAL5+ is critical in highly regulated industries such as government, financial services and healthcare, to prevent the leakage of information from one party's environment to another
  • Secure Service Containers - to help protect code throughout the blockchain application - effectively encapsulating the blockchain into a virtual appliance, denying access even to privileged users
  • Tamper-responsive hardware security modules - to protect encrypted data for storage of cryptographic keys. These modules are certified to FIPS 140-2 Level 4, the highest level of security certification available for cryptographic modules
  • A highly auditable operating environment - comprehensive log data supports forensics, audit and compliance

IBM also announced the first commercially available blockchain governance tools, and new open-source developer tools that automate the steps it takes to build with the Hyperledger Fabric.

The new blockchain governance tools help to set up a blockchain network and assign roles and levels of visibility from a single dashboard. They help network members set rules, manage membership, and enforce network compliance once the network is up and running.

Once setup is initiated, members can determine the rules of the blockchain and share consent when new members request to join the network. In addition, the deployment tool assigns each network a Network Trust Rating of 1 to 100. New network members can view this before joining and determine whether or not they can trust the network enough to participate. Organizations can also take steps to improve their Trust Ratings before moving into production.

To help developers to translate business needs from concept to actual code, IBM Blockchain includes new open-source developer tools for Hyperledger Fabric called Fabric Composer. Fabric Composer can help users model business networks, create APIs that integrate with the blockchain network and existing systems of record and build a user interface. Fabric Composer helps automate tasks that traditionally could take weeks.

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