Wednesday, August 4, 2021

As Microsoft Azure closes shop, ConsenSys Quorum opens up to new users

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Simply because the cryptocurrency sector is consistently altering and evolving, the enterprise blockchain trade has been present process its justifiable share of developments these days. Most not too long ago, enterprise blockchain options are shifting from personal, closed networks to public, open methods. This has largely been made potential attributable to advances from the Ethereum network, that are making certain higher privateness, scalability, throughput and extra for enterprise shoppers.

A brand new trade evaluation report demonstrates this shift, noting that the worldwide blockchain expertise market dimension is anticipated to succeed in $72 billion by 2026, rising at a market development of 51.8% CAGR through the forecast interval. Curiously sufficient, findings from the report present that in 2020, the general public enterprise blockchain market phase emerged because the main mannequin with the best share within the international market.

As extra enterprise blockchain options shift to public networks, it shouldn’t come as a shock that Microsoft not too long ago introduced that its Azure Blockchain Service is migrating users to alternative offerings. It’s necessary to notice that Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain was initially created from a sandbox-style service in 2015 on Ethereum in partnership with ConsenSys. In 2019, the answer was supplied as a totally managed blockchain-as-a-service, or BaaS.

Quick ahead to 2021, and a current weblog put up from Microsoft states that Azure customers should now “migrate ledger knowledge from Azure Blockchain Service to an alternate providing.” The article additional recommends for customers to maneuver to the Quorum Blockchain Service, or QBS.

For context, QBS is a managed providing by ConsenSys on Azure that helps Quorum as ledger expertise. Quorum permits enterprise shoppers to construct blockchain options on the general public Ethereum mainnet, together with personal networks.

Emmanuel Marchal, international head of gross sales for the blockchain software program agency ConsenSys, informed Cointelegraph that given ConsenSys’ possession of Quorum, together with the corporate’s long-term relationship with Microsoft, it is smart for Microsoft to hitch with ConsenSys:

“ConsenSys is offering migration from the Azure Blockchain Service to the Quorum Blockchain Service supplied on Azure. This has all the time been part of our strategic relationship, to ensure that Azure prospects have an enterprise-grade managed blockchain service with Quorum.”

Marchal additional famous that ever since ConsenSys gained ownership of Quorum from JPMorgan final 12 months, the corporate has been centered on bringing novel expertise to market. This consists of having a managed service for Quorum. Based mostly on the robust relationship between ConsenSys and Microsoft, Marchal defined that “It is smart to transition the Azure Blockchain Service customers to QBS because the really useful migration technique.”

As such, Marchal shared that ConsenSys has been working actively with dozens of Azure Blockchain customers to assist them plan their migration to QBS. “The aim is for a collaboration between Microsoft and ConsenSys to make sure a seamless migration from one service to the opposite,” he stated. Microsoft introduced that its Azure Blockchain Service will likely be “retired” on Sept. 10, and customers have to be migrated to QBS or another service earlier than then.

Is that this excellent news for Microsoft?

Though it might appear unlucky that Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service is coming to an finish, Marchal views this shift as an development. “ConsenSys maintains open-source Quorum expertise. Azure Blockchain Service customers utilizing that non-public expertise stay in good fingers with ConsenSys transferring ahead, and we’re assured about this migration.”

Furthermore, from the Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service consumer perspective — which includes main company prospects resembling JPMorgan, GE Aviation, Singapore Airways, Starbucks and Xbox — the migration to QBS could not have a lot of an influence. As an illustration, international blockchain lead at Ernst & Younger (EY) Paul Brody informed Cointelegraph that the Big Four firm’s program with Microsoft and Xbox stays unchanged:

“The Microsoft program emigrate software program contracts for the Xbox ecosystem to Ethereum-based smart-contracts continues to realize steam, with over 300 corporations now built-in.”

Azure SQL provides an immutable ledger

Coincidently, Azure SQL — a managed cloud database supplied as a part of Microsoft Azure — is incorporating a ledger characteristic. This improvement was not too long ago announced at Microsoft’s Construct 2021 developer occasion.

Based on a Microsoft weblog put up published on Could 25, the “Azure SQL Database ledger” will add tamper-evident capabilities to Azure SQL databases. The put up additional states that the Azure SQL Database ledger will present a “easier answer for centralized methods the place strengthening belief between events is required.”

It’s additionally famous that the ledger characteristic of the Azure SQL Database doesn’t require any migration of information or modifications to consumer functions. “You may allow ledger performance on tables in your database and work together with them the identical methods you’d for every other tables,” the put up states.

Whereas notable, the Azure SQL Database sounds similar to Oracle’s crypto-secure data offering, which was introduced in March. Juan Loaiza, govt vp of Mission-Essential Database Applied sciences at Oracle, beforehand informed Cointelegraph that Oracle has created a crypto-secure knowledge administration providing that leverages “blockchain tables” throughout the Oracle database. Loaiza additionally famous that this characteristic is totally different from Oracle’s blockchain platform, which is constructed on Hyperledger Cloth and is often used for supply chain management

This in thoughts, one other potential enterprise blockchain pattern transferring ahead stands out as the incorporation of immutable ledgers to enterprise-grade databases, as already demonstrated by each Oracle and Microsoft.

Will extra enterprises shift to public methods?

In regard to Microsoft’s migration to an answer powered by enterprise Ethereum, Brody remarked that EY is seeing an total pattern, the place corporations are shifting their focus towards public blockchains and shutting down their private-blockchain-centric internet hosting companies. “With almost 15,000 nodes for Bitcoin and Ethereum mixed operating on the market, everyone seems to be seeing the a lot larger public enterprise because the precedence,” he stated.

Though this can be the present pattern, it’s noteworthy to say that some enterprise options are persevering with to depend on personal networks. Basic supervisor of IBM AI Apps and Blockchain Kareem Yusuf informed Cointelegraph that enterprises are persevering with to put money into blockchain networks, and plenty of choose permissioned blockchains to unravel advanced trade challenges:

“Amongst enterprises, collaboration and trusted knowledge sharing are important, and for a lot of, permissioned networks present the reassurance they require. Sooner or later, we anticipate that we’ll see extra intersection of private and non-private networks.”