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 business 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 programs. This has largely been made doable attributable to advances from the Ethereum network, that are guaranteeing higher privateness, scalability, throughput and extra for enterprise shoppers.

A brand new business evaluation report demonstrates this shift, noting that the worldwide blockchain expertise market dimension is predicted to achieve $72 billion by 2026, rising at a market progress of 51.8% CAGR through the forecast interval. Apparently sufficient, findings from the report present that in 2020, the general public enterprise blockchain market section 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 vital 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 provided as a totally managed blockchain-as-a-service, or BaaS.

Quick ahead to 2021, and a current weblog submit from Microsoft states that Azure customers should now “migrate ledger information 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, instructed Cointelegraph that given ConsenSys’ possession of Quorum, together with the corporate’s long-term relationship with Microsoft, it is sensible for Microsoft to hitch with ConsenSys:

“ConsenSys is offering migration from the Azure Blockchain Service to the Quorum Blockchain Service provided on Azure. This has all the time been part of our strategic relationship, to make it possible for Azure clients 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 contains having a managed service for Quorum. Based mostly on the sturdy relationship between ConsenSys and Microsoft, Marchal defined that “It is sensible to transition the Azure Blockchain Service customers to QBS because the beneficial 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 mentioned. Microsoft introduced that its Azure Blockchain Service shall be “retired” on Sept. 10, and customers have to be migrated to QBS or an alternate service earlier than then.

Is that this excellent news for Microsoft?

Though it could 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 personal expertise stay in good fingers with ConsenSys transferring ahead, and we’re assured about this migration.”

Furthermore, from the Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service person perspective — which includes main company clients resembling JPMorgan, GE Aviation, Singapore Airways, Starbucks and Xbox — the migration to QBS could not have a lot of an affect. As an illustration, international blockchain lead at Ernst & Younger (EY) Paul Brody instructed 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 achieve steam, with over 300 firms 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 growth was not too long ago announced at Microsoft’s Construct 2021 developer occasion.

Based on a Microsoft weblog submit published on Might 25, the “Azure SQL Database ledger” will add tamper-evident capabilities to Azure SQL databases. The submit additional states that the Azure SQL Database ledger will present a “less complicated answer for centralized programs 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 person purposes. “You possibly can allow ledger performance on tables in your database and work together with them the identical methods you’ll for another tables,” the submit states.

Whereas notable, the Azure SQL Database sounds similar to Oracle’s crypto-secure data offering, which was introduced in March. Juan Loaiza, government vp of Mission-Vital Database Applied sciences at Oracle, beforehand instructed Cointelegraph that Oracle has created a crypto-secure information administration providing that leverages “blockchain tables” inside the Oracle database. Loaiza additionally famous that this characteristic is completely 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 doable enterprise blockchain pattern transferring ahead could be the incorporation of immutable ledgers to enterprise-grade databases, as already demonstrated by each Oracle and Microsoft.

Will extra enterprises shift to public programs?

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

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

“Amongst enterprises, collaboration and trusted information 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.”