Gaia-X Hackathon #3: Service portability with the VMware Tanzu Community Edition

During Gaia-X Hackathons #1 and #2, deltaDAO AG demonstrated the Minimal Viable Gaia-X (MVG) Demonstrator built on Web3 technology and powered by Ocean Protocol. The MVG illustrates the concept of data spaces, that — just like the internet — are owned by no one and open to everyone.

The MVG creates an open, transparent, sovereign, trustless, privacy-preserving and decentralized data infrastructure. Owned by no single entity, ensuring non-discriminatory access to data spaces for everyone who adheres to the common standards and rules of the community. Finally, a decentralized data infrastructure, in line with the Gaia-X vision and trust framework, is in reach.

Federation of interoperable autonomous Gaia-X ecosystems

Think of the MVG as a fully decentralized ecosystem and a Minimal Gaia-X ecosystem, embedded into the larger Gaia-X federation of ecosystems that share the same trust framework.

Featuring a transaction layer based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Federated Catalogue(s), Sovereign Data Exchange Services, a Data Exchange Logging Service, Gaia-X Portals based on the Ocean Protocol tech stack and an Identity & Trust layer based on Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) and Verifiable Credentials (VC). Following the Compute-to-Data paradigm, data ownership and sovereignty are technically guaranteed by design while still supporting traditional data sharing.

The solution is permissionless, meaning anyone can participate who adheres to the community standards. Data and service providers, data consumers, and cloud service providers in the roles of federators, validators, identity-, portal -, compute — or storage providers.

The decentralized Minimal Gaia-X Federation is truly owned by no one and open to everyone.

How does it work? Our Minimal Gaia-X Federation is based on three layers (from bottom to top):

  • The transaction layer based on DLT. It features the Federated Catalogue and the Data Contract Service (DCS) based on Smart Contracts, the Data Exchange Logging Service (DELS), an immutable data audit trail, and the foundation of the Identity & Trust components.
  • The middleware layer manages communication between the components, efficient provision of (cached) data and computation via Oceans Compute-to-Data.
  • The application layer hosts Gaia-X Portals and tools to interact with data, identity and trust services.

Service portability & composability

While decentralization from the very beginning was one of our major design objectives, a truly federated data economy can only emerge if we adhere to the principles of portability, composability, reversibility and cloud neutrality. Independence is important to prevent lock-in effects. Hence, an abstraction layer is needed to allow for service mobility across cloud service providers and infrastructure in an efficient manner.

VMware Cross-Cloud™ Services to build, run and secure applications across any cloud

Being world leader in virtualization and multi-cloud cloud technology, VMware has the technology and experience to provide such an abstraction layer. VMware enables interoperability and portability of data and workloads across multiple (hybrid) clouds and on-premises environments.

Francesco Bonfiglio, CEO of GAIA-X AISBL states that

“technologies such as VMware are natively compatible with Gaia X because they allow the realization of those principles, in particular portability, reversibility, interoperability, required by the architecture we are implementing.”

Source: https://www.gaia-x.eu/news/gaia-x-clouds-horizon

During Gaia-X Hackathon #3 and as a first step towards portable decentralized Gaia-X Federations, VMware and deltaDAO jointly showcase multi-cloud deployments and service portability of Minimal Federation Services powered by Ocean Protocol.

VMware technology brings a multitude of advancements to the Minimal Gaia-X Demonstrator built by deltaDAO AG:

1. Fully interoperable, reversible, & portable — The ability to migrate between public and diverse private cloud solutions seamlessly according to cloud consumption needs and no hidden costs.

2. Open source-based — The ability for organizations to combine technological solutions, whether open source-based or proprietary, to avoid single sided dependencies and vendor lock in.

3. Cloud Neutral — The ability to migrate workloads from one cloud service provider to another, bring the workload back home or operate workloads on different cloud services at the same time.

4. Energy efficiency — Improvements in green technologies are key to reaching the European Commission’s target of ensuring data centers are carbon-neutral by 2030 — Through workload control, automation and cutting down on energy-intensive hardware equipment, VMware already realises both a reduction of the CO2 footprint of Data Centers but also a reduction of 60% of the IT costs.

Outlook: Towards a Minimal Gaia-X Federation powered by Ocean Protocol and VMware

The vision of Gaia-X has great impact on European cloud providers, who are essential to the transport, security and access to data. There is huge opportunity for smaller cloud providers to combine their services in a more federated way.

Building on VMware technology, end user organizations can choose multiple different cloud service providers as part of the 2,000+-VMware Cloud Provider Program (VCPP) in Europe — a global ecosystem of service providers, all united with one ubiquitous, digital platform that enables them to consume VMware solutions on a pay-as-you-grow model.

“We will continue to be guided by our own cloud principles, with the full force of our ecosystem of cloud provider partners, to foster openness in the cloud — and thus a strong digital European economy that benefits businesses, governments, people and society.”

— Laurent Allard, Head of Sovereign Cloud EMEA, VMware

Source: https://blogs.vmware.com/emea/en/2021/03/driving-the-european-digital-economy-through-cloud-transformation-and-initiatives-like-gaia-x/

About deltaDAO

deltaDAO AG envisions to unlock the full value of data for businesses while preserving data sovereignty, privacy and custody. We provide GDPR-compliant data economy solutions, allowing businesses to consume and offer data services in the Gaia-X network, while remaining in control of their IP and sensitive data, thus meeting GDPR requirements.

A place to publish, discover, select, and consume data service offerings are our portals, which provide a user-interface to interact with core federation service functions. Portal users can utilize federated analysis, machine learning (ML) algorithms and AI (Artificial Intelligence) services to extract valuable information from data offerings or to offer access to their sensitive data without the risk of exposing it to unnecessary third-party or compliance risks. One of the core features of the Minimal Viable Gaia-X we created with the support of Ocean Protocol is a data access mechanism called Compute-to-Data (CtD). CtD enables data owners to grant only compute access to their data without the need to create copies in other environments they do not control. The data itself can remain with the data owner in a secured environment to minimize the risk of data-leaks.

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