Cisco predicts blockchain ledger technology could play a role in managing networks built on switches, firewalls and other appliances from multiple vendors.
Cisco believes blockchain is likely to play a significant role in network management with early adopters of the distributed ledger technology surfacing within three years.
Cisco is helping to steer blockchain’s ascendancy in networking through membership in industry development efforts. Last week, the company joined the governing board of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project, an open source initiative to develop cross-industry blockchain technologies. The 18-member board includes big names in finance, banking, manufacturing and technology. Other tech vendors in the blockchain ledger effort include IBM, Intel and SAP.
Today, blockchain is used to create a permanent, tamper-proof ledger of cryptocurrency transactions. The virtual currency that uses blockchain for record keeping includes Bitcoin, Litecoin and Namecoin.
But the record-keeping capabilities of blockchain ledger technology also make it useful in managing network appliances built by different vendors. Examples include switches, routers, firewalls and internet of things gateways. “[Basically,] any device that has the ability to host a blockchain client,” said Anoop Nannra, the head of Cisco’s blockchain effort.