Implementing blockchain as a microservice for IoT platforms

Powered by continuous data streams, they leverage distributed application logic implemented through APIs and microservices. Microservices and RESTful APIs provide both development (functional) and deployment flexibility. Today it is possible to build an entire software stack from re-usable components assembled in any combination and accessible through a public repository.

The service uses blockchain to generate a signature

The Ericsson Blockchain Data Integrity service provides verifiable trust for GEs Transportation/Rail Connect application on the Predix platform. Field service technicians work remotely at rail sites to make configuration changes to rail assets. Given the operational safety and compliance requirements of the transportation industr,y every configuration change needs to be both securely logged and auditable.

The service can be invoked in two simple steps through an orchestrated workflow:

The application compares the expected hash value to the actual hash value of the data to determine if data has been modified

generate a non-reversible signature for user data

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And requests signature verification from the Blockchain service

The Ericsson Blockchain Data Integrity service is well-aligned with with IoT platforms like GE Predix which use data collection, aggregation and analytics for distributed decisions and asset optimization. It provides evidence and proof of regulatory or process compliance.

The Ericsson Blockchain Data Integrity service also ensures the security of an industrial device attached to the Predix platform. Here the role of the Ericsson blockchain microservice is to verify that the configurable elements of the industrial device like the underlying software or machine settings that are subject to updates based on Predix analytics, are in the proper state at a given time. The micro-service ensures the integrity of the device before it is placed into service. This integrity element of security is essential for industrial applications and IoT deployments.

The cloud meanwhile provides a platform to host microservices within a single company or broadly across the industry. Ericsson has combined the principles of blockchain, microservices and open APIs to deliver blockchain data integrity implemented as a microservice for the GE Predix Cloud platform.

The signature is returned to the application

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And returns the expected hash value of the data back to the application

An application triggers a signing process

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The application retrieves the signature

An application triggers data integrity verification

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verify that the current version of the signed data has not been altered and matches the non-reversible signature

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The integrity of the data inputs must be verified before using the output of the analytics. For industries under regulatory scrutiny, the integrity of data can be a compliance requirement. For industries under regulatory scrutiny, the Ericsson Blockchain Data Integrity serves to ensure that no data has been tampered with for an analytics process or during a process that is under regulatory control.

extend the signature to the public record

GE Predix performs analytics on information generated by industrial devices in the Predix environment to enable actionable, business-impacting insights. The potential importance of the business impacts makes it critical to be assured that the data analysis has not been tainted by modified data inputs.

Read more aboutEricssons Data Centric Security. Or you can read our e-book on blockchain and the Internet of Things.

IoT platforms designed to handle data generated by jet engines, MRI scanners, power generators and other industrial machines and devices. It leverages data across disparate systems, and uses its analytics capability to convert the data into actions and data driven outcomes.

Application Development & Modernization

Blockchain and microservices have a lot in common. Each is designed to support open standards, public APIs and a community-centric, collaborative model.

A hash of the data to be signed is generated

This can be challenging in a distributed environment. Ericssons blockhain service provides integrity protection for the content of configurations, providing proof when events occur. This provides auditability and a chain of custody, allowing accountability of the asset lifecycle.

Ericssons blockchain service enables a Predix application developer to provide data integrity to application users. It enables users to:

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The application requests a signature from the Blockchain service

Smita is on the Ericsson Cloud Marketing team and leads Product Marketing for Developer Platforms. Prior to Ericsson, Smita worked at VMware where she led Technical Partner Product Marketing for NSX, VMwares network virtualization platform.

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And stored for later use during verification

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Or listen to our webinars on blockchain, the IoT and data integrity:

The blockchain service deconstructs the signature to verify that it is valid

At the same time, an urgent need for application agility is driving increased adoption of microservice architecture. Monolithic applications are being deconstructed into modular, function-specific, inter-dependent, interacting services. This means that modern applications are inherently distributed and data-centric.

Blockchain plays a distinctive role in the open source movement. It is a distributed, open source protocol owned by the community. Designed for transparency, it provides advanced transactional data security and provenance of transactions. No single blockchain user can compromise transactional data, and participants who are explicitly part of the transaction are assured data validity.

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Implementing blockchain as a microservice for IoT platforms

This week at theOpen Networking Summit 2017in Santa Clara, the industry will meet to learn about the latest open source initiatives related to networking. Here is why there is good reason to include blockchain in that open source discussion.

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