Increase Adoption and Cut Costs with Multi-Tenancy on Hyperledger Besu

This blog post was written by PegaSys Product Manager Arash Mahboubi.

The next major release of Hyperledger Besu v1.4 is scheduled for February 26, 2020, and will include a number of much-anticipated features. Besu v1.4 will include support for:

  • Privacy use in a multi-tenanted environment;
  • End-to-End TLS support for incoming and outgoing RPC endpoints;
  • Early access to flexible privacy groups allowing addition and removal of privacy group members;

The release will also include a host of other additions and improvements.



Challenges with Rapid User Adoption of Blockchain

Blockchain technology continues to advance at a rapid pace and with it, comes a greater interest in its use and adoption. Every day, more individuals, organisations and communities are learning about the vision of decentralised governance and taking an active interest in its development and growth. For PegaSys and ConsenSys, the continued development and growth of this user base is foundational to the advancement of Ethereum  - a key focus for all of us.

However, increasing the adoption of such radical technology does not come without challenges; the first of which is simply the education and training required at the highest level of abstraction to drive understanding of decentralised technology. This challenge is particularly relevant to PegaSys, where a deep level of expertise is needed in order to run the backbone of a blockchain network, i.e. the running of Ethereum nodes.

The second challenge to overcome is additional costs subjected to users to be part of such a network, both in the upfront physical costs with setting up the required infrastructure, and the long term support and maintenance needed.

As it is with all things, it comes down to finding the right balance between decentralization, and increasing user adoption. With multi-tenancy, we gain a huge increase in the ease of onboarding new users and getting them to make use of blockchain, whilst sacrificing a small degree of decentralization. This enables people, organisations and entities with less knowledge and experience to get familiar with the Ethereum ecosystem quickly, minimize the upfront cost and effort required to join, but ensuring they are able to stand alone when ready.

Multi-Tenancy Support in Hyperledger Besu

Hyperledger Besu now includes support to run in a “Multi-tenant environment”. Simply put, a number of users can use the same Ethereum client to connect to the network, whilst maintaining the privacy and confidentiality that is sometimes needed when sensitive data is being propagated through a network.

Hyperledger Besu provides support for authenticated API access, allowing hosts who standup the infrastructure custom control on who to grant access to, at various levels of granularity depending on the users need. This coupled with Orion, our open-sourced, Apache 2.0 licensed private transaction manager, enables private transactions to take place whilst ensuring only the correct recipient having access to the data. Through the use of JWT tokens, a user identity is tied to a privacy identity, validating every API call to ensure the user is part of the privacy group before any data is revealed.

What’s Next?

PegaSys will continue to drive forward the development of Hyperledger Besu as well as additional tools and applications used to support it. Blockchain node level identities, enterprise-level identity management, and decentralised identities continue to be an area of development, and streamlining their usage in a multi-tenant environment will be an area of continuous improvement. In addition, support for multi-tenancy in EthSigner and PegaSys Orchestrate will be an area of development over the coming months.

The Hyperledger Besu multi-tenancy support enables a much wider user base to make use of the blockchain technology, reducing the barriers to entry associated with learning, upskilling, and additional costs associated with making use of blockchain. We invite everyone facing these challenges to take advantage of this offering, and join us in the continued development of blockchain technology.

Interested in learning more about how you can make use of Hyperledger Besu Multi-tenancy? Reach out to us here.