Project Alvarium and The Rise of Data Confidence

With the continued success of Project Alvarium, three companies are accelerating the advancement of Data Confidence Fabric technology.

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Two months ago, Dell Technologies, Intel, and IOTA introduced an industry first: a dashboard displaying rising confidence scores as data traversed the edge: from sensor to gateway to core to cloud. Over a thousand attendees attended the webinar, making one point crystal clear: edge data is (currently) difficult to trust.

The webinar was part of recent activity by the three companies to advance the concept of a Data Confidence Fabric (DCF).  A DCF logs the data on every part of its journey: from birth to consumption and beyond. A trust rating (or score) is also attached and calculated for the data. The move to standardize these scores (and the equations that generate them) is a critical piece of the industry effort to advance DCFs: Project Alvarium.

Intel has been keen on the ability of DCF ability to preserve privacy on the edge and to prove that it did so. Project Alvarium leverages distributed ledger technology, enabling automated and trustworthy after-the-fact data audits on the edge.  A DCF overlay is especially relevant for those edge use cases with a high degree of compliance or regulatory concerns. Once compliance concerns are satisfied via a DCF, Alvarium’s distributed ledger approach subsequently enables “monetization via attribution” (proof of data ownership).

The trustworthiness of data decisions on the edge was the fulcrum of the coding collaboration between the IOTA Foundation and Dell Technologies. IOTA’s Tangle technology was used as a “sidecar” for the data, collecting confidence scores and calculating and generating trust ratings for live consumption by any application consuming the data along its path. IOTA’s Streams technology was used as the “glue” that associates confidence scores with data and as the basis for a secure DCF that can scale to hundreds of millions of confidence entries.

The success of the initiative has resulted in the companies accelerating the advancement of the DCF technology. For example, IOTA Foundation recently introduced their most ambitious release to date: Project Chrysalis. Project Chrysalis makes fundamental changes to IOTA’s multi-dimensional distributed ledger architecture by reconsidering past design decisions and adding enterprise-readiness. The Chrysalis upgrade is relevant to Project Alvarium, which must annotate and score massive amounts of data in a fast, scalable, and secure manner. The Chrysalis upgrade provides increased throughput and scale capabilities for DCF operation, as well as “ease of integration” for the “web of trust” that must be inherent in any DCF.

Dell Technologies has initiated the Project Alvarium community formation process within the LINUX Foundation. One critical output from this community will be an open-source framework for annotating and scoring existing “trust insertion” capabilities on the edge. As data travels over open and trustworthy software and hardware elements (e.g., secure-device onboarding, Trusted Platform Module-related operations, and secure enclaves), confidence will rise. The community will also focus on per-industry standards for the equations that generate confidence scores.

To Learn More

To view the industry-first Data Confidence Fabric in action, please view the webinar. If your company is interested in learning about the Project Alvarium project formation process, please contact the LINUX Foundation. To learn more about how Dell Technologies and Intel are working together on Data Confidence Fabrics, click here.

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