Cloud4C and hiblocks give a lesson in decentralized, secured social media experience

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World Business Outlook had recently reported that hiblocks, the popular blockchain-based social media application had entered into an agreement with Cloud4C, a leading cloud managed services provider. As per the agreement, Cloud4C Korea’s Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Managed services will support hiblocks with the migration and will continue to deliver GCP Managed Services such as GCP security guidance, implementation of autoscaling groups and microservice consulting.

During the announcement of the signing, Peter Seo, Country Manager of Cloud4C Korea, talked about ways in which Cloud4C helped hiblocks leverage the power of the cloud in improving performance, enhancing security and global expansion. 

Peter Seo, Country Manager of Cloud4C Korea

Cloud4C shared some exclusive insights about this new collaboration. The following are the excerpts of the email interaction- 

Please tell us about ‘hiblocks’ and what are the services provided by Cloud4C for this social media platform?

hiblocks developed a KLAYTN blockchain-utilizing social media platform, with a presence in South Korea and Indonesia. It aims to decentralize the current monetization system of social networks. hiblocks is famous for its blockchain-based decentralized social media application, ‘HABL’, which is ranked as one of the top 10 on the Apple store and Google Play store. The application constantly interacts with all the major social media platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok and users can curate the content from these platforms based on their own preferences. Users can also receive rewards in the form of ‘HIBS Token’, which enables revenue-sharing within and across social media platforms. The primary requirement from hiblocks was to host HABL on a reliable platform that can handle huge loads and scale-up resources instantly when there are a large number of active users. 

Decentralized social media platforms are powered by distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain or Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). Conventional social platforms control users’ posts as well as what they see. Since revenue generation is their priority, they present users with attention-grabbing advertising content, making them more entertained than well-informed. However, decentralized social media platforms provide more freedom to their users, prevent the unauthorized sales of user data, which is one of the contentious issues with centralized platforms. Blockchain technology also increases user privacy and data security using cryptography methods. Specifically, users’ information is safely stored within data distributed storages using blockchain. Data such as activities and rewards in the platform are also transparently recorded, making it impossible to forge or falsify data.

Nonetheless, such centralized social media platforms could run a risk of attack in which a malicious actor could theoretically control a network’s power, allowing them to edit data as they please, which would damage the integrity of the system. Hence, hiblocks needed a strong security portfolio to protect them from cyber-attacks.

Therefore, Cloud4C critically analyzed the client’s cloud governance systems and implemented best practices that fit the needs and requirements of hiblocks. We also organized instances into well-defined groups. This made the lives of internal teams much easier, especially to deploy changes and to monitor usage. We enabled auto-scaling and auto-healing functions that ensured business continuity in the production environment. Essentially, we automated the rollout mechanism with managed instance groups.

Based on the security assessment, we also implement Google Cloud Platform (GCP) security solutions such as Google Cloud Armor and Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP). We created SSH Bastion host to allow secure access to the instances and SQL database.

Overall, as the trusted Managed Services Provider (MSP) for hiblocks, Cloud4C has successfully launched Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Managed Services for hiblocks and will support hiblocks in improving performance and expanding globally for the next year. We will continue to help them leverage the power of the cloud in improving performance, enhancing security and global expansion along with our consultative, data-driven ‘Cloud4C Cloud Migration Factory.’ 

Tell us about some of the use cases of Cloud4C Migration Factory. 

Cloud4C Migration Factory is our professional automation solution for the complete cloud migration of in-scope virtual machines and Service Level Agreement-backed cloud platform managed services. It includes hyperscaling and stabilization, right sizing and expert technical advice. It helps with public cloud Managed Services such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

The migration to cloud improves an enterprise’s flexibility, reduces costs, helps them focus on their core competencies, and most importantly, fully transforms how they operate. However, for it to be done right, it needs careful analysis, meticulous planning, and execution of a comprehensive organizational and technical strategy that meets overall business goals. 

Having worked with 4000+ large enterprises across the world and in Korea, Cloud4C developed Cloud4C Migration Factory that offers an automated, process-driven ticket-based troubleshooting system for streamlined support. In hiblocks’s case, it helped performance improvement by 54 percent and reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) by 47 percent, resulting in near-zero operational downtime and higher productivity. It could also support hiblocks’s overall cost optimization through microservice consulting for continuous improvement and to resolve cloud infrastructure autoscale configuration issues.

Most recently, we worked with Carver Korea, which is South Korea’s top-ranked cosmetics provider, famous for its ‘AHC’ brand of skincare. Cloud4C successfully migrated Carver Korea’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to Microsoft Azure and supported Carver Korea’s operational and performance needs through customized SAP managed services. Through Cloud4C Migration Factory, we compressed a months-long migration into just two days and ensured that all systems were seamlessly connected post-migration. Due to Carver Korea’s business requirement on rapidly increasing data consumption, upgrading the specification of the cloud architecture was essential. Accordingly, it impacted the expected TCO to be increased substantially. However, Cloud4C succeeded in its team’s systemic operation on cost optimization and automated process via Cloud4C Migration Factory and DevOps. 

In March this year, we also secured a three-year agreement with CUBOX for which we delivered AWS Managed Services based on Cloud4C Migration Factory. CUBOX is the leading provider in biometrics that has recently ranked in the global top list of the Global Face Recognition Vendor Test (top 1st for Airport Immigration Control Photo Face Recognition Field) by NIST (National Institute of Standard and Technology). In order ot address their needs in critical projects across the world, we have supported them to focus on their core capabilities, involving ad hoc based heavy robust consumption on GPU, Big Data/Query as well as their global expansion.

Some of other global use cases can be found here: Panasonic, AbhiBus, Qatar Government Nodal Agency and TimeOut.

In addition to the Cloud4C Migration Factory, we have another automated solution to maximize our capability in automation-driven and application-focused managed services which help enterprises meet heterogeneous and complex technology environments through a robust service delivery model built on ITIL, ITSM, COBIT process frameworks coupled with our best practices we gathered handling over thousands of IT Modernization projects. It is an award-winning AI-powered Self-Healing Operations Platform (SHOP) that ensures continuous monitoring of data platforms and applications, proactive alerting in risk management terms, maximum availability, and predictive and preventing (self) healing.

Tells us about Cloud4C’s capability in Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Managed services and some of the solutions delivered from the CoE with SAP and Anthos Technologies

We have partnered with clients in diverse industries from financial service providers, real estate, travel platforms, among many others, to provide tailor-made cloud infrastructure empowering clients with advanced tools and services such as Google Cloud Compute, Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud CDN, and Google Cloud Migration Program. We have employed containerization for core applications with Google Kubernetes Engine, promoted APM monitoring, and integrated CI/CD pipelines across dev environments enabling a single-click deployment across multiple regions as well.

In February this year, Cloud4C collaborated with Google Cloud to build a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for SAP and Anthos by Google Cloud. The partnership was to help enable enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation journey on the cloud. 

The CoE equips businesses with the capabilities to modernise mission-critical IT infrastructure and applications while gaining the complete benefit of Cloud4C’s extended SAP service portfolio. Cloud4C runs stringent assessments to pinpoint the core impediments and enable benefits such as highly agile processes, instant cost savings, zero operational disruption and uninterrupted business continuity.

Enterprises that leverage Anthos can also modernize their existing applications and build cloud-native apps to achieve agility and cost savings with Google Cloud. With Cloud4C, enterprises can leverage Google Anthos to get a unified model for computing, networking, and even service management across systems, vendors and allows enterprises to monitor multiple environments from a single place.

The CoE supports customers in their modernization journey, as they level up their mission-critical IT infrastructure and applications and leverage advanced Google Cloud Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and analytics capabilities at scale. The partnership will help organizations make the most of Cloud4C’s end-to-end SAP capabilities through multi-cloud support, multi-cluster/unified management, centralized policy management, infrastructure management and achieve a higher return on investment, enhanced platform, operational efficiency, rapid scalability, and optimize cost.

The CoE also serves as a multi-disciplinary customer showcase hub, developing and delivering solutions for high efficiency and reliability, and allowing our customers to leverage the best of Google’s offerings in a secure manner with reduced capital investment and improved value delivery. Most importantly, the rapid deployment of SAP applications through Anthos by Google will also contribute to lowering carbon footprint.

What are the actions in the process to implement ‘Challenge Run’ and ‘NFT Market Place’ by hiblocks?

hiblocks will be initiating new projects in the first half of 2022 which includes ‘Challenge Run’ and ‘NFT (Non-Fungible Token) Market Place.’

Challenge Run, which is being developed by HABL, is a location-based app-tech service that exposes challenges to participate offline through the in-app map GPS service. It allows the creation of online and offline advertisements based on users’ GPS. In return, users can receive ‘HIBS Token’ by participating in the ‘Challenges’ in the application. Corporates, on the other hand, can get the chance to advertise their brands. hiblocks is further developing the augmented reality (AR) technology on this service.

hiblocks is also developing the NFT marketplace in which users can trade NFT contents in various forms such as live auctions and virtual reality (VR). Through this technology, users will be able to visit NFT marketplaces in virtual reality so that they can purchase and manage NFT contents just as they see them in person.

As per an email interaction with Ujal Nair

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