Storage News

Acronis Releases Blockchain Based Software-Defined Storage

Acronis uses blockchain technology in their latest release to track and protect data as it is updated and exchanged.

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

Acronis has recently announced the release of Acronis Storage, a software-defined storage product with blockchain-based data authentication and universal file, block and object support.

Acronis Storage blockchain

The product uses Acronis CloudRAID and Acronis Notary along with blockchain technology to combine block, file, and object workloads using company hardware.

According to the company, Acronis Storage is suitable for all service providers, industries, and organizations. With blockchain technology rising in the healthcare industry implementing a storage solution with blockchain technology could benefit organizations ready to embrace blockchain.

"Acronis is the first data protection company to adopt the blockchain as a data notarization platform. We are delighted to work with Acronis and look forward to developing the Ethereum ecosystem for the benefit of all users," said The Ethereum Foundation's Chief Scientist, Vitalik Buterin.

Blockchain is relatively new to enterprise technology, used mostly for security purposes. Acronis Storage allows data authenticity verification through block-chain based immutable logging and watermarking.

Blockchain gives each user their own copy of an authoritative ledger which they use to enter information, creating individual blocks. Each block belongs to one user and when information is exchanged, the data is validated through each block in a tracked chain. Because the data is not held in one place, it’s not easy to hack.

Acronis opted to use blockchain technology in their storage solution because of the increasingly digital nature of enterprise environments. The creation and value of data has expanded and requires a safe and fast way to process and store it. Acronis claims that this puts “extreme pressure on service providers who find themselves responsible for the integrity, safety and authenticity of customers' data stored on their servers.”

Acronis CloudRAID and Acronis Notary with blockchain work together to deliver a modern storage infrastructure:

  • Acronis CloudRAID: leverages erasure-coding technology to reconstruct protected data from data chunks and parity information stored elsewhere in the storage cluster. It means that each added storage node makes Acronis Storage more resilient to hardware failures due to faster recovery times.
  • Acronis Notary with blockchain: integrates blockchain into software-defined storage and data protection solutions. Acronis Notary with blockchain generates a time-stamped hash, or fingerprint, of protected data and stores it in Ethereum, a public blockchain-based distributed computing platform. By comparing two fingerprints of the same data, Acronis Storage is able to verify immutability, authenticity, and integrity of stored data.

Data security is extremely important to healthcare organizations and with the influx of data coming in due to health IT connected devices becoming more common, infrastructure technology needs to keep up.

For healthcare, blockchain means that “any data entered into a computer system or EHR/EMR can have each transaction or entry validated. This could include anything from a financial transfer to an update to an individual’s personal health record. Each new action is verified against an authoritative ledger of previous events,” says HealthITSecurity.com.

According to HealthITAnalytics.com, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is interested in how blockchain technology may evolve to health the healthcare industry. ONC issued a challenge for research organizations to suggest new uses for blockchain to protect and exchange electronic health information.

Fifteen winners were chosen based on proposed solutions or recommendations for market viability, creativity, ability to inform and foster transformative change; and potential to support a number of national health and health information objectives, including advancing the flow of health information for where and when it is needed most.

Acronis Storage is one of the first vendors to incorporate blockchain into one of their solutions and may be a good fit for organizations ready to implement their first blockchain technology.

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