Dell Subsidiary Considers Blockchain Use in Data Transfers

In a new patent application, Dell subsidiary VMWare outlines how it could integrate a blockchain into a proposed cloud-based data transfer service.

AccessTimeIconNov 16, 2017 at 8:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:10 a.m. UTC
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A subsidiary of computing giant Dell is seeking to patent a system that uses blockchain as part of a wider effort to boost the speed of data transfers.

VMWare, which focuses primarily on cloud computing and virtualization services, is behind the application published Nov. 16 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application details a "hybrid-blockchain" approach, which would see computers connected via a distributed network exchanging "tokens" that contain "metadata regarding a data set to be transferred."

As the application explains:

"The token can be transmitted using a blockchain network that is accessible to the first and second computer systems via a public network. The first computer system can then upload the data set to the one or more cloud storage service addresses via the public network, and the second computer system can download the data set from the one or more cloud storage service addresses via the public network."

The preference for a public blockchain – versus a permissioned one in which participants are limited – is a notable one. The application cites how tokens within such a network "cannot be forged without having control over the majority of the computational power in the network," pointing to this as an area for strength if used as part of a data-transfer system.

The application offers a view into how Dell might be looking at potentially applying the tech, but it's not the first intellectual property-related move from the firm. In September 2016, the USPTO published an application from Dell Products focused on computing device management using a distributed ledger.

VMWare image via possohh / Shutterstock

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